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WITH THE GUNS, by " F.O.O." 




O.B.E., M.C., 

(" I.O.") 



I 7 8 S' 3 S' 

First published in 1922. 






II.- -Till- < inYKKNMKNr's CASE 28 


IV. A i \ JUNB 74 










INDBX . 313 


To the student of Irish affairs, the year 
offers a most fascinating field for investigation. It 
was essentially a year of contrast; the first six 
months of it witnessed the culmination of the 
guerrilla warfare proclaimed against the British 
forces by the Irish Republicans, the last six months 
saw a treaty negotiated between the contending 
parties. Men who in the earlier part of the year 
wore murderers hiding from justice with a price 
upon their heads were later received as the chosen 
leaders of the Irish people; their followers, once 
rebels whose extermination was the objective of 
sixty thousand British troops, became officers of the 
Irish Government forces, and co-operated with 
those who had hunted them in the maintenance of 
law and order. It was a year of contrasts and 
( ontradictions, of grave political errors and of 
brilliant feats of statesmanship, of unexpected 
unity and still more unexpected dissension. And of 
this anmis mirabilis the present book will endeavour 
to give a brief account. 

It will first be necessary to recall the state of 
Irish affairs at the opening of the year. The 

2 IRELAND IN 1921. 

Government of Ireland Act, which provided for the 
establishment of two separate Parliaments for 
Northern and Southern Ireland, had become law on 
December 23rd, 1920. In Ireland, the Act had few 
if any friends. The North, limited by it to six 
counties, contemptuously styled " Carsonia " by the 
Southern Nationalists, had accepted it without 
enthusiasm as the only alternative to inclusion in an 
all-Ireland Parliament with its seat in Dublin. 
Lord Carson, then the recognised leader of Ulster 
opinion, had publicly stated the intention of his 
followers to co-operate loyally in carrying out its 
provisions, while at the same time voicing their 
preference for the long established Union. The 
South, on the other hand, unanimous in this as in 
nothing else, condemned it root and branch. The 
extreme Sinn Fein party refused to consider it; to 
their mind it sought to impose upon them a form of 
British domination, differing from that imposed by 
the Union in form only and not in degree. The 
Nationalists, in which term may for convenience be 
included the remainder of the Southern population, 
terrorised into sympathy with the extremists, but 
longing for any measure which would restore peace 
to their distracted country, hated the partition of 
Ireland into North and South, and saw in the Act no 
promise of finality or of the welding of Ireland into 
one nation as the result of its provisions. The 
Southern Loyalists, who had throughout pinned 
their faith on securing protection from the strong 
arm of British law, enforced by British authority, 
felt their cause abandoned and their position in the 
country rendered untenable. 

But at the beginning of the year the Act was 


nothing more than a name. It had received the 

e <>! law, but from its very intention it was 

ions that before its enforcement could even be 

begun some time must elapse. The whole machinery 

of government and administration of a country 

cannot be divided and transferred to other powers 

in a week, especially when one of those powers is 

non-existent and the people of the territory it is to 

represent are in open rebellion against the transfer. 

Since the Union, the whole of the services of 

government had been concentrated in Dublin Castle, 

rightly or wrongly a byword in Ireland as the very 

birth-place of circumlocution and * red tape.' This 

administrative web had to be unravelled, and its 

\arious threads split between Dublin and Belfast. 

1 1 must be remembered that the proportion of British 

officials in the Irish Government has always been 

infinitesimal. Viceroy, Chief Secretary, and Under 

retary have usually been of British birth, and 

these were the officials who directed the main lines 

of policy. But the men who carried out this policy 

re practically Irish to a man, and in this fact lay 

a difficulty. It was obvious that the policies of the 

Governments of Northern and Southern Ireland 

would be widely divergent, yet that men must be 

;iid from the existing services to staff the offices 

in Dublin and Belfast. This was merely an example 

of the difficulties underlying the preliminaries of the 

Act. Even when the administrative services had 

n prepared for the use of the new Governments, 

the setting up of one of those Governments, at le; 

a task of superhuman effort. 

The state of Southern Ireland was actually, 

though the fact was never acknowledged in so many 

4 IRELAND IN 1921. 

words, one of open rebellion against British 
authority. The Extremist leaders, who had opened 
a campaign of ambush against the police in 
January, 1919, had, during the two intervening 
years, developed that campaign into a moderately 
successful guerrilla warfare against the British 
forces in general. The only effective reply to such 
warfare, from the purely military point of view, is 
a sharp punitive campaign which must necessarily 
involve the whole population of the country. Such 
a campaign the military authorities were quite 
prepared for, their plans were drawn up and their 
dispositions laid. But the politicians would not 
sanction it. The cause of Ireland looked too much 
like the cause of other small nations striving for that 
strange new birth of the Great War, self-determina- 
tion, and they feared that declared and open war 
would blacken the face of England before the world. 
Apart from this was the question of expense. A 
campaign on a scale large enough to stamp out 
rebellion throughout the South of Ireland was an 
undertaking whose limits no man might foresee, and 
although the estimates of its cost given at the time 
by men whose interest it was to dissuade the 
British public from demanding war were excessive, 
England, recovering from the effects of the greatest 
war in history was in no position to embark upon 
fresh military expeditions. 

A compromise was therefore in operation, which 
displayed to perfection all the disadvantages of 
repression by force of arms with none of the 
advantages of success. To the ambushes and 
shootings of the Republicans were opposed a policy 
of reprisal, official and unofficial, and of the 


rnment of men against whom rebelli 
tcmi could be proved. Kvprisal is 

ini|)ossible policy, it has none of the forms of 1 
ami lays itself open to attack by even the dul 
propagandists Hut, as affairs stood, it was the 
only safety-valve. Men composing a military force, 
however well disciplined they may be, will not stand 
by and see their comrades and their officers brutally 
murdered without bein<^ allowed to lift a hand in 
revenge. In proclaimed warfare vengeance 

rded in the opportunities of engagement with an 
open enemy. In Ireland there was no definite 

my, there being no war, and consequently the 
opportunity for engagements with him were limited 
to the occasions on which he took the offensive, and 

; Id be identified with arms in his hands. Reprisals 
though ineffective were unavoidable, and as a matter 
of fact were inspired by rough and ready justice. 
The men who carried them out, whether acting under 
the orders of the authorities or upon their own 

{HDnsibility, almost invariably knew the victims 
they selected, knew that they w r ere guilty although 
their knowledge would not convict in a court of 

If reprisals w r ere ineffective and harmful to the 
Hritish cause, internment was almost equally so. 
lu the internment camps were gradually collected 
the most extreme of the republicans, the majority of 
nhom had never known such luxury in their lives, 
'd from the necessity of earning their own living. 

v set themselves to educating one another in the 
Republican code of ethics, and the camps became the 
finest schools of the Irish Republican Army. That 
this statement is no exaggeration tan be proved by 

6 IRELAND IN 1921. 

reference to letters written by internees, of which 
an enormous number passed through the hands of 
the authorities. Such phrases as " our drill is 
improving every day, we shall be a crack company 
when we get out ' ' and ' ' tell mother we get plenty 
of spuds to our dinner and plenty of beef too, so we 
don't want anything except an odd cake for supper 
as we only get three meals a day ' ' occur throughout 
these letters, and their general tenor is one of 
thankfulness, tempered with some fear lest their 
comrades at large should eventually accuse them of 
getting arrested on purpose to avoid the discomforts 
of the field. There is also evidence that the agitation 
started by the Republicans for the purpose of calling 
attention to the " horrors of the prison camps ' 
had no support from the internees themselves. 

But at the beginning of 1921 it was evident that 
these measures alone would never restore order to 
Ireland. In December, 1920, four counties of the 
South had been proclaimed as being subject to 
martial law, namely, Cork, Tipperary, Kerry and 
Limerick, and to these were added on .January 4th 
Clare, Water ford, Wexford and Kilkenny. Thus 
the whole south-west was brought under the 
orders of Military Governors, whose power was 
theoretically absolute. But in practice these powers 
were rarely exercised, and conditions were no 
different in the Martial Law Area than they were 
in other disturbed counties. The Government still 
withheld the executive hand from the imposition of 
decisive measures, and the instructions to the 
Military Governors strictly limited their powers. 
The programme of ambush and assassination con- 
tinued, and was countered as before by a defensive 


policy and the hall hearted offensive of reprisals. 
The outrage stat igtiofl !'<r tlie first few months of the 
year will give some idea of the state of the country. 


Killed Wounded Fired at Killed Wounded Fired at 

Jsnuftn I 1 ' K' 

ruary -I 1 ,' 28 7 K> 17 

Map -m 35 50 20 

April 27 79 4 29 23 

May ... 70 HO 1<; -J-J 23 

79 72 19 48 28 

July ... 51 37 11 25 17 

Murders became so frequent that it would be 
practically impossible to enumerate them all, and in 
the course of this book reference will only be made 
to such as have a particular significance. But the 
condition of the country is best described by the 
statement that the horrors of the past year were 
being repeated daily upon an ever increasing scale, 
and were at their height when the conclusion of the 
truce imposed a sudden reduction upon them. 

The delay in the enforcement of the Government 
of Ireland Act and in the concerting of effective 
military measures to deal with the situation becomes 
still further explicable in the light of an event 
practically unnoticed at the time, but, as it proved, 
of supreme importance. During the night of 
December 30th-31st, 1920, Mr. de Valera landed in 
Ireland, and the possibilities of securing peace in 
Ireland by negotiation became more tangible. Not 
that de Valera himself had arrived for the purpose 
of making advances. His mission to the United 
States was over, and he returned to the country of 
which he was self-styled ' president ' in the natural 
course of affairs. His first letter, dated January 
1st, is worth quoting. It is addressed to Harry 

8 IRELAND IN 1921. 

Boland, the representative whom he had left behind 
in America, and is as follows : 

* Arrived safe after a little excitement. 
Am setting to work to establish an Irish 
White Cross; this name will avoid inter- 
national complications, an American Branch 
can be established and we can look later to 
have it recognised by Geneva as a Red 

The letter continues to enumerate by name the 
people to be approached in the matter, " as well as 
prominent people in the Society of Friends, etc., so 
as to tone down the strong political color that our 
own names will give." The letter concludes : 

1 Don't let the peace talk influence you 
in any of your statements. Deal with it as a 
trick of LI. G. to mislead the people here and 
elsewhere. The people will not be fooled. 
He talks of peace whilst secretly he plots 
to murder, destroy the lives and property of 
the Irish people. . . ." 

The whole story of the negotiations between the 
British authorities and the leaders of Sinn Fein 
will be dealt with in a subsequent chapter. It is 
only necessary to draw attention to the effect of 
de Valera's landing upon the situation in the country 
at large. From the evidence available, it appears 
that this influence was very small. During his 
absence abler hands than his had built up the various 
departments of the Republican system of govern- 
ment, and although these departments could only 
carry out the outlines of administration in the face 
of British suppression, the event proved that their 


duties \\crc already allocated, and that the President 

,Ui do little more than issue general instructions 

to them. He seems to have confined himself to 

Iviiuj fresh schemes for the liberation of 
Republic, schemes which met with varying degrees 
. i amoii^ his colleagues. Even at this 
ly date there a us of disagreement between 

the various Sinn Fein leaders, and of a lack of 
co-ordination among them. De Valera seems to 
have been living in a world of dreams, and to h 
taken no heed of the warnings of those who were in 
touch with the realities of the situation. His i 
i ds addressed to the men with whom he came in 
tact on his return were in the form of encourage- 
ments to continue the struggle for the establishment 
the Republic. The reason for this blindness 
seems to have been that during his stay in America 
he had never been in touch with the true spirit of 
that nation. Surrounded only by those who, for 
their own purposes, desired the success of his 
|K)licy and who flattered him with tales of the vast 
and increasing volume of sympathy that the Irish 
cause was inspiring, he would listen to no advi 
even from those whose ideals of Irish Republican! 

o as fervid as his own. and their experience of 
the trend of opinion in the United States far riper. 
h men as John Devoy and Judge Cohalan had 
ntcd out to him the most promising means of 
iring support in America, but he, impatient of 
advii-e and restraint, had <i d with them ; 

ipitated a split in the ranks of the 1; 
Americans which promised disas* the can 

Yalera. fresh from the plaudits of 
"phants. returned to Ireland a dreamer an 

10 IRELAND IN 1921. . 

visionary, enthusiastically followed by those whose 
Celtic imagination outran their sense of possibilities, 
and causing grave concern to the men who in his 
absence had learnt that the continuation of the 
struggle against England was hopeless, should 
England at last determine to put forth her strength. 

The mass of the people were heartily sick of the 
state into which Ireland had been thrust. Apart 
altogether from the danger to life and limb, the 
operations of the contending forces interfered in 
every way with the prosperity of the country. It 
is probable that the majority of the country people 
would have welcomed any solution which would have 
freed them from the presence of the Irish Republican 
Army, whose operations brought nothing but disaster 
to them. Their produce was levied to support the 
Republican troops, their houses must be available to 
shelter them when " on the run/' their barns and 
outhouses were impressed as hiding-places for illicit 
arms. It was becoming abundantly clear to them 
that they were suffering far more from the Irish 
forces than from " the enemy," as the Republicans 
styled the British throughout. 

De Valera's ' Presidential Message to the 
Farmers of Ireland ' sets out to combat the feeling 
of weariness which was already finding expression 
in mutter ings of discontent : 

" You are suffering with dignity and patience the most 
appalling persecution, the most atrocious infamies, at the 
hands of a barbarous and uncivilized enemy. . . . Your 
homesteads have been burnt, your crops and stock 
destroyed, your sons and daughters flung into prison . . . 
and many of them cruelly and callously murdered. Every- 
thing that demons incarnate could do has been done to make 
you forsake your principles and surrender to the forces of 


unrighteousness. . . . England will be rem< 

he crimes ami atrocities of her licensed and State- 

ted freebooters. 
The policy of England is to destroy for ever the 

i Nation. She hopes by the systematic hum mi: 
farms and farm pr-Mlm-,-. by the destruction ot inilN, 
factories, and creameries, by the levelling- of great centres 
of industry and by the robbery of public monies for 
compensating 1 the malicious injuries caused by her minions 
to create a state of unemployment so general and so grave 
that the vigorous youth of the nation, whom she so much 
dreads, must leave in thousands the Land of their 
Fathers. . . ." 

And so on. But even de Valera himself does 
not venture to hold out to these men the hope that 
if they continue the struggle they will drive the 
hated English into the sea. England has always 
been the market for Irish produce, and it was very 
largely the fear of the loss of this market which 
made the Irish farmer mistrustful of the policy of 
the extremists. 

For the Sinn Fein leaders had already made 
dangerous experiments in the direction of tampering 
with the natural flow of commerce. Ulster was loyal 
to the Union, and therefore Ulster was in alliance 
with the enemy. Further than this Ulster was 
a very awkward object lesson on the Republican 
flank. The world was apt to ask why, if one section 
of Ireland was content to live and prosper under 
British rule, another section should not do likewise? 
As neither entreaty nor the shooting of innocent 
citizens in the streets of Belfast seemed capable of 
persuading Ulster that her true interest lay in 
throwing in her lot with the Republicans of tlu* 
South, the latter determined upon a more subtle 
method of argument. Ulster is an industrial 
district, the South is almost entirely agricultural. 

12 IRELAND IN 1921. 

It follows that there is a constant stream of manu- 
factured goods flowing from North to South, and 
this stream is unbalanced by a counter current of 
agricultural produce from South to North, the 
agricultural districts of Ulster being able to supply 
the demand of her cities. These circumstances 
seemed to offer an admirable opportunity for 
striking a blow at Ulster. A boycott was proclaimed, 
under which it was forbidden to the Southern people 
to purchase Ulster goods or to expose them for sale 
in their shops. In pursuance of this boycott, raids 
were made upon stores and trains, and Ulster goods 
destroyed in stock and in transit. Ulster banks were 
entered and robbed at the point of the revolver, and 
those suspected of dealing in any way with the 
proscribed Province were ill-treated and in some 
cases murdered. 

The net result was to intensify the feeling of 
bitterness between the two sections of the country, 
and so to perpetuate the hated partition. The 
damage done to Ulster's trade was inconsiderable, 
the loss, as might have been expected, fell mostly 
upon the small shop-keepers of the South, who were 
debarred from selling their goods, and were unable 
to replace those of Northern manufacture by others 
produced elsewhere, owing to the lack of facilities 
for their purchase. Undeterred by this experience, 
the Republicans proceeded to extend the scope of 
their experiment. By a series of decrees, Bail 
Eireann, the Parliament of the Republic, imposed a 
similar ban on goods manufactured in Great Britain, 
beginning with articles such as soap and tobacco 
which are produced in the South. Again the effect 
was felt more by the Irish consumer than by the 


lish producer, and the ban, though wi<i 
advertised, vsas never seriously rd. 

Another weapon brought into action by the I: 
publicans to intimidate England was incendiarism. 
( citain of the extremists professed to believe that if 
Englishmen were attacked in their own country they 
would be the more willing to concede the demai 
of Ireland. An epidemic of farm and factory ti 
broke out throughout the country, the work of age. 
<>f the Irish malcontents. None of these fir.-s 
had any very serious results; the tactics of the 
incendiaries being to select the scene of their 
operations with the primary regard for safety for 
their own flight rather than for the value of the 
damage they were likely to inflict. In some cases* 
definite objectives were attacked, as when at temp's 
were made to discover the addresses of the relatives 
of men serving in the Crown Forces in Ireland. In 
a few cases attacks were made upon the persons or 
property of such relatives. As might have been 
expected, the net result was to intensify the growing 
feeling in England that sterner measures must be 
taken by the Government to deal with the rebels. 

When Parliament opened on February 16th, the 
Prime Minister took the opportunity of making a 
statement on the condition of Irish affairs, which 
reflected the policy of the Government at the time. 
He dealt with the negotiations of the previous year, 
carried on through the mediation of Archbishop 
Clune of Perth, Western Australia, and explained 
that these negotiations had proved abortive owinij to 
the insistence of the Government that no truce could 
be concluded with the rebels until the latter had laid 
down their arms, as had the truce failed to result in 

14 IRELAND IN 1921. 

a final settlement, the rebels would have been able to 
utilise the intervening period for the purpose of 
perfecting their organisation. It is interesting to 
compare this official statement of Government policy 
with the events of five months later. The Prime 
Minister continued by expressing his opinion that 
the rebels had not yet abandoned the hope of winning 
independence by force of arms, but eulogised the 
efforts of the Crown Forces during the past few 
months. He stated that the boycott was at an end, 
that Sinn Fein Courts and police patrols were at an 
end, that resignations from the R.I.C. had been 
stopped and recruiting for this Force resumed in 
Ireland, and that nearly everyone in Ireland was 
now anxious for the break up of the reign of terror. 
As events proved, this statement was too optimistic, 
but it was based upon the reports of those 
Government officials in Ireland whose business it 
was to keep the Chief Secretary informed of the 
state of affairs in the country. 

Meanwhile Ulster was loyally preparing to carry 
out the provisions of the Act, and, indeed, showing 
some impatience at the delay in bringing it into 
force. Ulster felt that the passing of the Act had 
destroyed the Union and that the sooner the new 
regime was inaugurated, the sooner could she take 
the necessary measures for her protection from the 
Republican agents who were endeavouring to stir up 
dissension in her capital and elsewhere. From the 
first she realised that her task would be no easy one. 
The Ulster of the Act had been reduced to six 
counties, in two of which the Protestant and 
Catholic populations were approximately equally 
balanced. The ancient boundaries of the counties 


had been determined by the limits of the baronies, 
which tor the most part depended upon no definite 
ph\Mr;il 1- hut merely upon t he extent of the 

land owned by the large proprietors. As a result 

i his, the i K.utier of Northern Ireland was an 
ini|x)ssibleone, from the standpoint of either poll 
or strategy. It meandered from Carlingford Lou^h, 
dividing the counties of Louth and Down, in the 

st, to Lough Melvin, dividing the counties of 
Leitrim and Fermanagh, in the West. Then, in 
order to include Donegal in Southern Ireland, it 
turned back once more in a north-easterly direction 
and after many windings reached Lough Foyle in 
the North. Even within this boundary there were 

uy sources of discontent. The Nationalists of 
Tyrone, whose active sympathy was with the 
Republicans of the South, were isolated in the 
centre of a preponderatingly Unionist population; 
a considerable district of Unionist Fermanagh was 
completely cut off from the remainder of Northern 
Ireland by the natural obstacle formed by the river 
and lake of Erne. 

Any attempt to close such a frontier against the 
incursion of Republican marauders was of course 
impossible. The border Unionists were perpetually 
liable to attacks, in the course of which their farms 
were burnt and their families ill-treated. In Belfast 
and Derry, the sedition which in the previous year 
had broken out in open rioting was by no means 
overcome. The old religious problem had merged 
itself into the political quarrel. As a rule, the 
Protestant was a Unionist, a term which survived 
the passing of the Act destroying the Union and 
came to be synonymous with Loyalist, as defining a 

16 IRELAND IN 1921. 

man faithful to the British Crown and opposed to 
the aims of the Sinn Feiners. The Catholic, on the 
other hand, was usually a Nationalist, closely allied 
with Sinn Fein, the Ancient Order of Hibernians 
having, by one means or another, become identified 
with Sinn Fein. Where the two parties lived in 
close proximity, as in Belfast, trouble was bound to 
arise, usually on a scale which defied the efforts of 
the police, and called for military intervention. 

Hence the eagerness of the Northern Unionists 
to set the Act in operation. During the interim 
they had no Government of their own with which 
to deal with disorder, and were entirely dependent 
upon the British authorities, whom they shrewdly 
suspected of being willing to sacrifice the interests 
of Ulster in the attempt to find a solution for the 
problems of chaos in the South. The men of the 
North fully realised that so long as the provisions of 
the Act remained unfulfilled, the danger remained 
of some bargain being struck with the rebels above 
their heads which would nullify the safeguards of 
the Act. They had accepted the Act, under protest, 
but as a sincere contribution to the peace of the 
country. But they were not prepared for the 
British Government to trade upon this acceptance 
to extort from them further concessions. 

Their first step was to choose a leader under 
whose guidance they could embark upon the stormy 
political voyage which lay before them. Sir Edward 
Carson, as he then was, had already expressed his 
decision not to accept the post should it be offered to 
him, on the score of age. The Standing Committee 
of the Ulster Unionist Council met at the Constitu- 
tional Club in London on January 26th, under the 


Sir Ed and passed a unanimous 

-lut ion inviting Sir James Craig, M.P., at that 

6 Financial Secretary to the Admiralty, to 

mit himself for appointment to the position. On 

February !th the Mill Council met in Belfast, and 

el anics was unanimously elected. Sir Edward 

Carson's words on this occasion are worthy of 

record. n I'lster may be won by argument," he said, 

referring to the attempts then being made by the 

Republicans to coerce the North, ' Ulster may be 

i hy a sincere profession of the same id- 
loyalty and attachment to the Throne and Cou- 
nt ion, and Ulster may be won by a pride in 
Fmpire and an acceptance of the glorious principles 
whieh have made our country great throughout the 
Id. But Ulster will never be coerced." It waa 
at a subsequent luncheon that Sir James Craig made 
the first suggestion of a royal opening of the first 
Northern Parliament. He assured His Majesty the 
King or in his stead the Prince of Wales of a hea 
welcome from the people of Ulster should he come 
to Belfast for such a purpose. 

The first move in the direction of putting the 
Act into operation was at a meeting of the Privy 
Council on March 24th, when an Order was made 
fixing * appointed days ' for the purpose. The 
term ' appointed day ' has always been rather loosely 
used in this connection. The original Act was 
drawn up when Ireland was in a state of rebellion, 
and it was impossible to foresee when it would be 
isible to enforce any particular provision of the 
Act. Again, the Act w-as of so revolutionary a 
nature, (hanging as it did the whole constitution of 
I reland, that it could not take effect as a whole upon 


18 IRELAND IN 1921. 

any given date, but must be introduced gradually as 
the process of transfer proceeded. Hence the Act 
was drawn up in such a way that it empowered the 
Privy Council to make Orders bringing successive 
provisions into operation as convenient. The dates 
appointed under these Orders in Council were known 
as * appointed days, ' and were necessarily numerous. 
But so far none of the administrative provisions 
of the Act were in operation. It was therefore 
necessary to appoint a day upon which the clause 
giving power to issue Orders in Council should take 
effect. April 19th was chosen as this date. A 
further date, May 3rd, was appointed for bringing 
the general provisions of the Act into operation, but 
it was explained that there were still several matters 
upon which the new Governments of Northern and 
Southern Ireland would have to be consulted as soon 
as they were set up, which matters were excluded 
and for which other * appointed days ' would be 
fixed. One important provision which became 
operative on April 19th concerned the office of Lord 
Lieutenant. In the past this office, had been a 
political one, and its holder was debarred from 
professing the Roman Catholic faith. From this 
date the religious disqualification was removed, and 
the office became non-political, its tenure being fixed 
at six years, irrespective of change of Ministry. 

From the time of the first symptom that the 
Government really intended to persevere with the 
Act, the Unionists of the South had brought every 
available means of pressure to bear upon it to delay 
the holding of elections in the South. They repre- 
sented that with the country in the state it then was, 
it would be more than a man's life would be worth 


to vote for any other than an official Sinn Fein 
candidate. An election held under these conditions, 
they argued, would result in the return of a Southern 
Parliament unanimously rebellious, and the result- 
ing state of affairs would be no better than the 
present. The Government refused to listen. In the 
House of Commons on April 28th both the Prime 
Minister and the Chief Secretary reiterated their 
determination. They would be parties to no 
surrender to the argument of murder, and they 
intended to put the Act into operation at once, both 
in the North and in the South of Ireland. 

On May 4th the Lord Lieutenant issued the 
Proclamations summoning the Parliaments of 
Northern and Southern Ireland, and on the 13th 
of the month the nominations for candidates of both 
Parliaments took place. The course of events in the 
North will be dealt with in a subsequent chapter. 
In the South, events fell out as the Southern 
Unionists had predicted. Out of 128 seats in the 
Southern Parliament, 124 were uncontested, neither 
tin 4 old Parliamentary Party, as the Nationalists of 
the South began to be called some years before, nor 
the Unionists, venturing to put forward candidates 
to oppose the Sinn Fein nominees. The remaining 
lour seats were also uncontested. They were those 
of Dublin University, which constituency had 
nominated four candidates, none of whom was a 
Sinn Feiner. and all of whom were nominated on the 
f the interests of the University rather than 
on political grounds. 

Among those elected to the new Parliament were 
Mr. de Valera, for his old constituency, County 
Clare, Michael Collins and Arthur Griffith. The 

20 IRELAND IN 1921. 

remaining members were practically those who had 
been elected to the Imperial Parliament in 1918, 
with the addition of 53 Sinn Feiners owing to the 
increased number of constituencies. In fact the 
new Southern Parliament was merely an enlarged 
version of the old Bail Eireann. As this fact 
became of importance later, it may be as well to point 
out the essential differences in the constitutions 
of the Dail and of the Southern Parliament 
respectively. The Republicans regarded the elections 
to the Southern Parliament as Dail elections, with 
the exception that as the University members did not 
take the oath of allegiance to the Republic, 
their constituency was unrepresented in the Dail. 
Further, the Republicans refused to recognise the 
existence of Northern Ireland as apart from the 
South. Any Sinn Feiners elected to Northern 
Constituencies were therefore free to sit in the Dail 
on taking the requisite oath. As a matter of fact, 
of the Sinn Feiners elected in the North, only one 
did not already represent a Southern Constituency 
in the Dail. The net result was that four members 
of the Southern Parliament could not sit in the Dail, 
and one member of the Dail could not sit in the 
Southern Parliament. 

Mention has already been made of the fact that 
the Act altered the conditions surrounding the 
appointment of Lord Lieutenant. At the end of 
April it was announced that Lord French was about 
to retire, and that Lord Edmund Talbot would 
succeed him. Lord Edmund Talbot was by birth a 
Howard, and therefore a member of the premier 
Roman Catholic family of England. This con- 
cession to Catholic feeling in Ireland met with a 


srmewhat j/nnliring reception. The Nationalist 
newspapers took pains to draw attention to the fact 
that English and Irish Catholics differed widely in 
political views, despite their common faith, and set 
to work to attack him with the impartiality with 
which they attacked every Englishman connected 
with Irish politics. Lord Edmund Talbot was 
elevated to the rank of Viscount Fitzalan, and 
proceeded to make preparations for the enforcement 
of the various stages of the Act. 

As though the Appointed Day had been the 
signal, the fury of the Republicans burst out with 
renewed vigour during the months of April and 
May. The City of Dublin itself became the battle 
ground for some of their most extraordinary 
exploits. On April llth at 8 o'clock in the 
morning, when the dock labourers were going to 
their work, a large party of armed civilians, 
mingling with the crowd, made their way along the 
North Wall, the range of quays running along the 
North side of the harbour. The London and North - 
Western Railway owned a hotel on the quayside, 

osite the berth at which their steamers loaded. 
This hotel had recently been taken over by the 
company of Auxiliary Cadets engaged in the duty of 

fching vessels entering the port. The armed 
civilians collected gradually round the hotel, and at a 
given signal attacked it with revolvers and bombs. 
The fi^lit was short and sharp. Despite the i 
that the fire of the Auxiliaries was restricted <>\\ 
to the quayside being thronged with innocent 
lalxmrers, they contrived to drive off their attackers 
and to save the hotel, the woodwork of which had 
been assailed with incendiary compounds. One 

22 IRELAND IN 1921. 

Auxiliary was wounded and one of the attackers 
killed. The incident had no great result, but it 
showed that the Republican forces were prepared to 
take the offensive even in Dublin, the seat of the 
British power. 

But the most sensational outrage in the City 
took place shortly after noon on May 25th. The 
Dublin Customs House stood at the City end of the 
harbour, and was used for housing the Local 
Government Board and the offices of the Inland 
Revenue, Income Tax, and other branches of the 
administration. When the staffs of these offices 
were mostly away at lunch, a large party of I.R.A. 
arrived, and made their way into the building, 
holding up those inside. Other men proceeded to 
the Fire Station and prevented the brigade from 
leaving it. The men who had taken possession of 
the building proceeded to pour petrol and other 
inflammable substances over everything that would 
burn, and then to set fire to the premises at many 
points simultaneously. Meanwhile a company of 
Auxiliaries received warning that the Customs 
House had been raided, and rushed direct to the 
place in their cars. They were met by a fierce fire 
from pickets placed to guard the approaches, but 
engaged them and succeeded in dislodging them 
without much trouble. They then rushed into the 
burning building, where they met with further 
resistance. By this time they had been reinforced, 
and the building was surrounded. Such members 
of the office staffs who happened to have remained 
in the building were escorted to safety, and a large 
number of civilians whose presence in the place could 
not be explained were taken into custody. The Fire 


had been released, and rame into action 
hour or so after the building had started to burn, 
too late to save it Only the shell remained of one 
of the finest buildings of a city whose architectural 
beauties were never at any time conspicuous. The 
object of the outrage \\as the destruction of records 
and the hampering of the business of government. 
Jn this it was certainly successful, for many valuable 
records were irretrievably lost. But the principal 
loss inevitably fell upon the country whose cause the 
incendiaries professed to uphold. The responsi- 
bility for this outrage is determined upon the 
authority of the Irish Bulletin, the organ of the 
Propaganda Department of Dail Eireann. In its 
issue of May 27th, the Bulletin announced that " in 
accordance with a decision arrived at after due 
deliberation by the Ministry of Dail Eireann, a 
detachment of the Dublin Brigade of the Irish Army 
was ordered to carry out the destruction of the 
Dublin Customs House." 

Nor were outrages confined to Ireland. The 
raids and burnings in England to which reference 
has already been made reached a climax on the 
night of May 14th-15th. The following account 
of the events of that night in the London district is 
taken from the Daily Telegraph of May 16th. 

At 9-45 p.m. on the 14th five men called at :W. 
Stowe Road, Shepherd's Bush, London, and asked 
for Mr. Birthwright, a former member of the 
R.I.C. Upon being informed that he was not at 
home, they produced a card purporting to be a 
warrant for his arrest, and forced their way into the 
front passage. Here they were stopped by a visitor 
to the house, and while covering him with a revol 

24 IRELAND IN 1921. 

they smashed a bottle of paraffin on the floor, set 
it alight, and decamped. The fire was easily 
extinguished, and little damage was done. 

Another outrage occurred in the same neighbour- 
hood at 10-15 p.m. when four men called at 42, 
Bloemfontein Road, Shepherd's Bush, and asked for 
Mr. Charles Corms, of the R.I.C., who was at the 
time in Ireland. His father-in-law, the occupier 
of the house, endeavoured to persuade the men to 
leave, but they shot him in the abdomen before they 
made their escape. A revolver and two bottles of 
paraffin were afterwards found outside the house. 
The perpetrators of this outrage are believed to be 
four of those who were engaged in the affair at Stowe 

A house at 44, Coverton Road, Tooting, was 
visited by three men at 9-45 p.m. The house was 
occupied by Mr. William Dawner, whose son was 
in the R.I.C., and he was held up at the point of 
the revolver while the men entered the house, threw 
petrol about various rooms, and set them on fire. 
They then decamped. The Fire Brigade had to be 
called before the flames were extinguished, but the 
damage was not very serious. 

Similar tactics were employed by a gang of eight 
men who called at 3, Fairholme Road, West 
Kensington, about 9-50 p.m. Here they inquired 
for Captain Wood, pushed their way into the house, 
produced a revolver, and searched the place under 
threats. After they had gone the bedding and 
furniture in two rooms were found to have been 
saturated with petrol and ignited, and considerable 
damage was done. 

At eleven p.m., four men, wearing light over- 


coats, were seen to be art in^ suspiciously in 1 1 
! (ireenwich. Two of them. A 
masks, called at the house of a constable of the 
R.I.C. Alarmed by the screams of the constaM 
wife, they slammed the door and made off, leaving 
behind a loaded revolver and a bottle of petrol. 

Masks were also worn by three men who knoi 
at the door of 141, Wellmeadow Road, Catford. 
about 10 p.m. The occupiers of the house are Mr. 
and Mrs. Duffield, whose respective ages are 61 and 
56. Upon opening the door in response to the 
knock, they were immediately shot at. Mr. Duffield 
was wounded in the thighs and his wife in the 
wrist, but not dangerously. The men rode away 
on bicycles, and later a bottle containing petrol was 
found outside the house, and close by a pistol with 
two chambers discharged. 

At 12-10 a.m. a fire was discovered at the 
premises of Messrs. Launders and Nucoline, 

i^arine manufacturers, North Woolwich. The 
damage, however, was not extensive. A * life- 
preserver/ bottles of paraffin, cotton-waste, and 
{a per soaked in petrol were found. 

Another attempt at incendiarism, at Batter 

s nullified by the lack of forethought of the 
perpetrators. A visit was paid to a house in 
Belleville Road, Battersea, and a bottle of petrol 
placed carefully inside the front door. The bottle 
was wrapped in an Irish newspaper, laid on its side, 
and the paper set alight. The cork, however, could 
not have been withdrawn, for the heat burst the 
bottle and the explosion that resulted alarmed the 

npier. He immediately rushed to the door and, 
discovering what had occurred, was able in a ^ 

26 IRELAND IN 1921. 

short time to defeat the attempt to set his house on 

On the same night numerous raids were made in 
Liverpool by groups of armed and masked men upon 
houses where resided friends and relatives of men 
in the R.I.C. and Auxiliaries in Ireland. Some 
desperate encounters took place between the raiders 
and the occupants of the houses, but no one was 
injured, although in certain cases considerable 
damage was done to the houses, which were set on 
fire. The raids were carried out simultaneously in 
six different districts of the city, one and a half 
hours before midnight. 

In every instance the method adopted by the 
raiders was identical. Appearing in gangs of six 
to as many as fifteen, they were all masked and all 
carried revolvers. The usual ruse for getting the 
door opened was the announcement of a desire to 
deliver a very important message. The next move 
was to overpower the person who opened the door 
and cover with revolvers anybody who came to the 
rescue. Then paraffin was produced and carpets, 
clothing, and curtains were saturated with the 
inflfljnTnfl.b1ft liquid; but the plan did not always 
materialise, although in two cases much damage was 
done by fire before the brigade arrived on the scene. 
In other instances desperate resistance was made, 
and on the alarm being given the raiders fled. There 
were two striking instances of remarkable valour. 

At a house in Clifton Road, a residential district 
of Anfield, a Mr. and Mrs. Owen, an elderly couple, 
were visited by raiders, who forced their way into 
the house, and Mr. Owen, in spite of his age of 60 
odd and a row of revolvers pointed at his head, 


seized a poker and made an onslaught on the 
intruders. He was, however, overpowered, gagged, 
his hands tied behind his back, and shut in the 
house, which was left on fire. Mrs. Owen managed 
to open the door after the raiders had gone, and Mr. 
Owen, in his night attire and still gagged and 
bound, ran to the police station. In the other 
instance a retired Scottish farmer, Mr. David 
Wilson, over 70 years of age, immediately accej> 
the challenge of the revolvers and threw himself 
upon the man who threatened his life. A desperate 
struggle ensued, which was only ended when another 
revolver was pointed at his temple with the demand 
* Let the man go, or out go your brains." In this 
house an Airedale dog came to the rescue and bit 
several of the raiders, by whom it was shot. Whilst 
bleeding and dying, the animal drove the raiders 
from the house before they could light the paraffin- 
soaked carpet, and when daylight came its body was 
found 400 yards away from the house, where its 
desperate fight had come to an end. At another 
house the * * hands up ' ' demand was met by an 
ex -naval man, who had lost a leg at Zeebrugge, with 
a sewing machine, which he threw at the armed 

Such were the events of a single night, and theso 
show the determination of the Republicans to ca 
the war into British territory. With these examples 
of terrorism on either side of the Irish Channel, a 
idea may be formed of the state of Irish aiT 
the opening of the year 1921 . 


Despite the optimistic tone of Ministerial 
pronouncements, the condition of Irish afiairs was 
daily becoming more serious during the early months 
of the year. Slowly but surely the Government were 
being driven towards the point when it would be 
necessary for them to adopt a firm policy towards the 
rebels. Everything had now been tried save giving 
the military leaders a free hand. But still the 
Government hesitated, with the result that troops 
and police, restrained from open measures of 
attack upon the men who laid in wait for them 
and murdered them, were driven to illegal and 
indefensible acts, perforce condoned by their leaders 
and by the Government. This policy, or lack of 
policy, was responsible for practically all of the 
criticism levelled at the Government's management 
of Irish affairs. The members of the Crown Forces 
themselves naturally failed to understand it. They 
were fighting men, presumably sent to Ireland for 
the purpose of crushing rebellion. But between 
them and their objective they seemed to see a hand 
stretched out, the hand of the politician restraining 
the arm of the soldier, and naturally they became 


Nor were the actions of the Government 

11 la tod to restore confidence among either their 
servants or their critics. They seemed to dis]> 
a hesitancy which provided their enemies with 
unlimited ammunition with which to bombard them 
in Parliament and else w he: The most striking 

. rnple of such hesitancy was the case of the 
burning of the City of Cork on December 12th, 1920. 
The whole facts of this matter have never been made 

ir, but the incident and the attitude of the 
Government towards it were the subject of much 
discussion throughout the early months of 1921. 

On December 12th, 1920, following an ambush 
of Auxiliaries on the previous day, a number of 
incendiary fires were started in Cork, which 
resulted in the destruction of a large part of the 
city. There can be very little doubt that the fires 
were started by one section of the Crown Forces as 
a reprisal for the many incidents of attack upon 
them which were frequently made in the streets of 
the city. General Strickland, who commanded the 
district, had himself been attacked not 1< 
previously, and there is ample evidence that only the 
strictest discipline had restrained both military and 
}K)lice from avenging themselves on the citizens for 
this and other attacks. The ambush of the 
Auxiliaries applied the match to this inflammable 
spirit. Whatever agency actually started the fires, 
there is ample evidence from eye-witnesses that both 
military and police were involved in the scenes of 
destruction which followed. The Government, 
pressed by its critics, ordered a military inquiry, at 
which General Strickland presided. Although no 
definite promise to that effect was ever made, it was 

30 IRELAND IN 1921. 

understood that the findings of this report should be 
made public. But the Cabinet, having seen the 
report, decided that it was better that the findings 
should remain a secret. Now, whatever these findings 
may have been, it would have been wiser to have 
published them. Their suppression gave a handle to 
the critics of which they were not slow to take 
advantage. It was naturally assumed that the 
findings of the report contained matter which would 
reflect upon the policy pursued by the Government. 
As a matter of fact, it is probable that the findings 
of a military court laid an unfair stress upon the 
responsibility of the Auxiliaries for the outbreak, 
and contained criticism of their actions which would 
greatly have heartened the rebels had it been 
published at the time. 

Mr. Asquith, speaking on February 19th, 
referred particularly to this incident, and his words 
may be taken as typical of the attacks made upon 
this score. He said that the infamies of Irish 
administration were kept, as far as they could be, 
from public view, behind locked doors of so-called 
military tribunals, and any demand for the publica- 
tion of their reports, still more for the evidence upon 
which those reports were founded, was refused on 
the insolent pretext, insolent because in all these 
cases the Government was on its trial, that their 
production would not be in what was called the 
public interest. 

It will be as well to examine the general lines of 
criticism indulged in by those who disapproved 
of the policy of the Government, for the critics 
represented a large body of English opinion, which 
in the main disliked the somewhat mysterious matter 


ot repri&i irtimes 'official/ sometimes not, 

avowed and disavowed, winked at and never 
isfactorily put down. Mr. Asquith returned to 
the charge in the House of Commons on Febm 

" The real vindication, or attempted vindication of the 
policy so unhappily pursued during the last six months is 
that it has succeeded, or has good prospr iccesa. The 

1'rime Minister pave us an almost glowing, at any rate, an 
exuberant description, of the advance which had been made 
in the direction of pacification and the suppression of crime. 
\Vha' art- the facts? At the very moment that the Prime 
-M mister was speaking an hon. friend sitting beside me put 
in my hands a telegram which had come from Ireland that 
day describing how within a few miles of the City of Cork 
\\ere ambushed and a number of soldiers and 
civilians lost their lives. If you look in the newspaper 
to-day you will >ee that within the last ten days in the City 
of Cork, not in the hills, not in the outlying regions, five 
citizens were shot dead. Only yesterday there was an open 
fight in the town of Midleton, in which thirteen people, I 
believe the number has since been added to, were killed. 
This is a deplorable commentary on the allegation that the 
policy of reprisals has been a success. Only this afternoon 
the Chief Secretary himself told us that civilian judges 
could not safely be entrusted with the duty of adjudica* 
in criminal oases, and that witnesses dare not come forward 
and give evidence for fear of their lives." 

Mr. Asquith proceeded to give instances of 
reprisals, and concluded : 

1 The first point I want to make is that it is the duty of 
this IlmiM' to demand that the Government shall grant such 
an inquiry, and promptly, without delay. The next is to 
reinforce as strongly as 1 can, and I believe with the 

pathy and consent. T will venture to say, of the . 
majority of this House, the need for putting an end to this 
ghastly state of affairs in Ireland by a truce, a truce which 
means not merely the suspension of this terrible day by day 
intensification of passion and multiplication of crim. 
truce which may form and ought to form the avenue | 
permanent settlement. I hoped very much just bet-in- 

rated in December, when the Prime Minister then said 

32 IRELAND IN 1921. 

there was a prospect of a settlement, and we knew that steps 
were taken and negotiations entered into which, for a time 
at any rate, seemed to have a hopeful prospect. They 
broke down, and if the account which has been given to us 
is the correct one, they broke down as they were bound to 
break down in the conditions. I would not impose 
conditions which no one is in a position authoritatively to 
fulfil, but I would have an unreserved truce, binding 1 on 
both sides, without qualifications or reservations. If that 
could be brought about, dark in many ways as the prospect 
is, darker even than it was six or even three months ago, I 
am still not without hope that we might find ourselves on 
the road to permanent peace.'* 

Perhaps the best defence of reprisals was 
contained in a letter written by Lord Carson to a 
correspondent who addressed him on the subject 
early in March. The letter is worth reproducing. 

11 Sir, -Whilst I entirely understand your anxieties 
about what are called ' reprisals ' in Ireland, with the 
possibilities that innocent people may be sometimes the 
victims, I do not think you sufficiently bear in mind the 
horrible and savage methods which are being adopted by 
the organisers and perpetrators of the murder campaign 
which is being carried out against the executive officers and 
our soldiers who are serving the Government in their 
efforts to restore order in Ireland. Open and cowardly 
assassination of innocent men by the use of dum-dum 
bullets, frequent inhuman torture and injury to wounded 
and dying men is the daily routine which the officers of the 
law may anticipate at any moment. Any man in the 
employ of the Government carries his life in his hands, and 
may be at any moment summoned before his Creator with- 
out a moment's warning. To expect human nature to be 
impassive under such circumstances is to attribute to these 
officers a power of self-control which is not given to mortals. 

" Always remember that interference by the Govern- 
ment forces can be brought to an end by the abstention from 
such horrors as I have described. The solution lies with 
the murder organisation, and we cannot for a moment 
imagine that the Government would not be the very first to 
desire that the forces of the Qrown should be no longer 
necessary to carry out a service which cannot but be 
distasteful and distressing to all concerned. 


" 1 1 [ \ .-! \ . h.-.i p form "i rii ICIMII 1" at ; put 

the Maine Upon llir e\c-utive ofiicrrx in their diiiniilt 
dangerou> t;i>k uithout air. ! to the TOftlitiM oi 

:i, hut I cannot t'.r a inoim-nt in 'lit- vast 

hulk of our countrymen will be led away hy p 
propaganda and faNe - tality from supporting 

tli our i -lice and soldieix serving in 

Iii-laiid. XOUTI faithfully, Ki.u AHD ( 

Hut the oH'u-ial defence is contained in a letter 
addressed by the Prime Minister to the Bishop of 
( 'ht'lmsford, in reply to one forwarded by the Bishop 
and signed by a number of prominent members of the 
Protestant Churches. This letter is of the first 
importance, as it may be regarded as the official 
answer to the many charges made in various quarters 
against the Government, and was intended as a 
justification before the w r orld as well as an answer 
to the points raised in the Bishop's letter. Although 
long, it is therefore quoted in full. 

April lf)th, 19:21. 

" My Lord Bishop, I have iv< -rived the letter dated 
April 3rd, signed by yourself and nineteen other leaders of 

;<>us Protestant religious denominations in G: 
Britain, and 1 hav*> given it the seriou< and ear: 
it ion to which it is rightly entitled, both mi ftOOOttnl 
tlic responsibility and puhlir influence <>f the signatories 
and the urgent iin; of the Mihjrct with which it 


" With tli. ! motive of your resolution, that of 

helping to hi-inu- ahoiif peace with a contented Ireland, I 
am in the ! mpathy, And it i- beoaiUN I 

Mtial that there B&Ollld h a full OOmprel 
' iovrnim- liow this can alone he .i 

that bfl deal with your argument^ in >ome detail, 

of all. ; rahle 

practice of indiscriminate and unauf hoi'i-ed ' | by 

the irregular force-, ot the Crown.' There are no ' LITBffulsJ 
tin- Crown. The Auxiliary Division of the 
il lii-h Con^tahulary. to which no douht you rete- 
LTular force. It muni.- litly under l.."iiH DO 

divided into tifteen compai \cn of the-. 


34 IRELAND IN 1921. 

are stationed in the martial law area, three in Cork County, 
one each in Kerry, Clare, Tipperary, and Kilkenny, where 
they are subject to the control and direction of the Military 
Governor of the area in regard to all operations and also for 
discipline. Of the remaining eight companies, three are 
stationed in Dublin City, where they form part of the forces 
working under the command of the military officer com- 
manding the Dublin district, and the other five, stationed 
respectively in Galway, Meath, Eoscommon, Sligo, and 
Ixmgford, co-operate with the military and ordinary police 
forces, and for purposes of operations are under the control 
of the county inspectors and divisional commissioners, who 
are high officers of the permanent constabulary. I set 
forth these facts because the words ' irregular forces ' 
convey the impression, which seems to be widely held, that 
the Auxiliary Division is an irresponsible, self-contained 
unit operating without proper check and control by the civil 
and military heads of the Irish administration, an 
impression which is quite unfounded. 

" Why was the Auxiliary Division constituted? 
Authority for the formation of the Auxiliary Division, 
which is composed entirely of ex-officers of the Navy, Army, 
and Air Force, was given on July 10th, 1920, after fifty- 
six policemen, four soldiers, and seventeen civilians had 
been brutally assassinated, and it did not come into really 
effective operation until over 100 policemen had been 
murdered in cold blood. For all these murders no murderer 
was executed, for no witnesses to enable conviction were 
forthcoming, largely because of intimidation, although 
many of these murders were committed in the open street 
in the presence of non-participatory if unprotesting 
passers-by. Can it be contended that when a rebel 
organisation, which is based on the repudiation of 
constitutional action in favour of violence, sets to work to 
achieve its ends by the deliberate and calculated murder of 
the members of a police force, 99 per cent, of whom were 
Irish and 82 per cent, of whom were Roman Catholic, 
which had always held an extraordinarily high reputation 
for tolerance and good will to the population it served, that 
the Government do stand idly by? It seems to me that all 
liberal minded and law-respecting citizens must recognise 
that any and every Government must take prompt and 
decisive steps to protect the police and to bring to justice 
those who invoke the weapon of assassination. Hence the 
creation of the Auxiliary Division. Further, it would 
seem to be not less clear that where, owing to intimidation 


and murder, tin- ordinary judicial processes employed in a 

rful and civili-rd r>mmunit y have failed, tin- police, 

it i! tlie law and bring murderers to 

armed with exceptional powers akin 
6 entrust, -d to loldim in the field. Hut that there has 
been any authorisation or condonation of a policy of 
ing murder by giving rein to unchecked violence on the 
r side is utterly untrue. 

" 1 hat there have been deplorable excesses I will not 
rnpt to (h-nv. Individuals, working under conditions 
ot extraordinary personal danger and strain, where th* -y 
are in uniform and their adversaries mingle unrecognisable 
among the ordinary civilian population, have undoubtedly 
been guilty of unjustifiable acts. A certain number of 
undesirables have got into the corps, and in the earlier 
days discipline in the novel and exacting conditions t 

time to establish. But the Government has never 

d to press upon the Irish administration and the 

military and police heads the paramount importance they 

< hed to me enforcement of the sternest discipline. 
With your plea for discipline, therefore, I am in the most 
complete sympathy. No one is more anxious from 
tiadition and position to ensure discipline in the forces 
than their official chiefs, if only because indiscipline means 
inefficiency. As some evidence of what the Chief Secretary 

his colleagues are doing, I may state that during the 

three months twenty-eight members of the Royal Iri^h 

Constabulary and fifteen members of the Auxiliary Division 

have been removed from the force as the result of 

< cutions, while 208 members of the Royal Irish 
^tabulary and fifty-nine members of the Auxiliary 

-ion have been dismissed on the grounds of their being 

unsuitable as members of the police force. In addition, 

.ty-four members of the Royal Irish Constabulary and 

iliary Division have been -en fenced by court-mart ial. 

e is no question that, despite all difficulties, discipline 

is improving, the force is consolidating, and that the 

of indiscipline, despite ambushes, assassinations and 

outrages, often designed to provoke retaliation for the 

purposes of propaganda, are becoming- Increasingly infre- 

i 1 v.n'iii. to believe that when the history of the 

t nine months in Ireland comes to be written, and the 

authentic acts of misconduct can be disentangled from the 

vastly greater mass of reckless and lying accusations, the 

eral record of patience and forebearance displayed by 

the sorely-tried police, by the auxiliaries as well as by the 

36 IEELAND IN 1921. 

ordinary constabulary, will command not the condemnation, 
but the admiration of posterity. 

1 I turn now to the second point on your resolution. 
I must say that I read with surprise and regret the state- 
ment that because of a ' long-cherished and deep-seated 
sense of political grievance ' which has not been satisfied 
by the present Home Eule Act, ' we cannot regard the 
cruel and detestable outrages which have given rise to the 
whole reprisals policy, authorised and unauthorised alike, 
as a mere outbreak of wanton criminality in the ordinary 
sense.' Your resolution is emphatic when condemning the 
Government, in its statement of ' the absolute unlawfulness 
of the attempt to overcome wrong, however flagrant and 
provocative, by means of further and equally indefensible 
wrong.' Yet practically in the next sentence it condones 
the adoption by Sinn Fein of the weapon of wholesale 
murder on the ground that the end justifies the means. 
It seems to me that this part of your resolution is subversive 
alike of order and good government, morality, and the 
Christian religion. 

' Let us see what it means. I do not wish to minimise 
in the least Great Britain's share of responsibility for the 
present state of the Irish question. But at long last all 
parties in Great Britain had united, in the General Election 
of 1918, in asking and securing from the electorate a 
mandate to give to Ireland the Home Rule which had been 
pleaded for by Gladstone and asked for by all the leaders of 
Irish nationalism since Isaac Butt, including Parnell, 
Dillon, and Redmond. The only unsettled question was 
the treatment of Ulster, and as to that, both the Liberal 
party had recognised in 1914, and the Irish Nationalists in 
1916, that if theie was to be a peaceful settlement, Ulster 
must have separate treatment. 

:< Sinn Fein rejected Home Rule and demanded in its 
place an Irish republic for the whole of Ireland. Sinn 
Fein went farther. It deliberately set to work to 
destroy conciliation and constitutional methods, because it 
recognised that violence was the only method by which it 
could realise a republic. The rebellion of 1916 was its 
first blow to conciliation and reason. Its refusal to take 
part in the Convention was the second. Its proclamation 
of a republic by the Bail Eireann, and abstention from 
Westminster was the third. Its inauguration of the policy 
of murder and assassination, in order to defeat Home Rule,, 
rather than to discuss the Home Rule Bill in Parliament, 
or enter upon direct conference outside, was the fourth. 


1 ilo nut think that air. in doubt that tin* principal 

<.n \\ h y tin- war did riot \ iring a peaceful settlem* 
why Irrland i> more deeply divided to-day than it ha- 

i, has been the nation of Sinn Fein to piv 

such a settlement and to fight for a republic . I 

do not con :in Fein's right to its opinions and 

aspirat ion->, and 1 have never done so. Hut what amazes 

a body of responsible mm, eminent leaders of 

Church, should state publicly that Sinn Fein has some 
kind of justification for murdering innocent men in cold 
blood, because it> novel and extravagant political ideals 
have he. -n denied. 

" Where does the doctrine end!' There is a small but 
vigorous Communist party in these islands, which bitterly 

with the most intense conviction believes that it ought 

verthow democratic institutions and <eixe power by 
force and violence, because of the manner in which i 
consider that the ruling classes of the past, the aristocracy 
and the owners of capital, oppressed and exploited the poor. 
the Communists, because of the sufferings and 
grievances of the working classes and the sincerity of their 
own industrial ideals, to be justified in employing murder 
tion to achieve these ends? 

' I write thus plainly because I believe that in t 
.1 question a question which, as you truly say, aft- 
public opinion not only in the British Isles, but in the 
Fmpire and in foreign lands it i> e^ential to look at the 
fundamental facts unaffected by political prejudice or t he- 
sympathetic emotions inevitably aroused by present event-. 
1 should like to repeat that 1 fully recognise how action and 
inaction by British (lovernment- and political parties have 
c'-ntributed to produce the n. Hut do 

let u^ therefore blind ourselves to the fact that the other 
element in the present m, and I think the la; 

element, i^ that Sinn Fein deliberately threw n\ -itu- 

tional action at the moment when that emir- ion was 

achievii |, and entered upon a campaign 

in its most savage form in order to separate Ireland from 

Hut there is another aspect of the que-tion to which 
1 must allude. Sinn Fein does not confine its actr 

<-ks on servants of the Crown. It ha- inaugurated a 
reign of terror in Ireland which is certainly equal 

hing in Irish history. IN hold on the country is due 
partly no doubt to the fanatical enthusiasm it invokes, but 
partly it is due to terrorism of the DO 6 kind. Its 

38 IRELAND IN 1921. 

opponents in Ireland are murdered ruthlessly, usually 
without any form of trial, with no chance of pleading their 
case, simply because the Sinn Fein leaders think them 
better out of the way. 

" The case of the murder of Sir Arthur Vicars is fresh 
in everybody's mind. I can pass no better comment upon 
it than that contained in the Manchester Guardian of April 
16th, which describes it as 

' one of the most horrible in the black recent records 
of crime and counter-crime in Ireland. For a crowd 
of armed men to attack an unarmed man in a lonely 
house, take him out of bed and jointly murder him, 
they must have debauched their minds with the base 
casuistry of a " state of war " to an extent which 
makes them a curse to any cause they pretend to 
honour. Nothing honourable in public affairs can 
spring from anyone's personal dishonour, and anyone, 
be he Sinn Feiner or anti-Sinn Feiner, who takes a 
part in one of these dastard " executions " writes 
himself down a leper for whom no brave and pure 
cause has a place in its service. There is nothing as 
yet that a court would call proof of the authorship of 
this particular abomination. A tag attached to the 
corpse is said to boast it for the " Irish Eepublican 
Army." It may be a genuine brag; it is a loathsome 
one, if so ; or it may be the trick of some enemy of the 
alleged braggarts. We cannot know; in either case 
the crime, like all its kind, is an act of the foulest 
treason to any cause to which those guilty of it profess 

" The case of Sir Arthur Vicars has excited horror 
because it is the murder of a well-known man. But it is 
only typical of what is going on all over the country. I 
may mention two other instances. In the first, William P. 
Kennedy, a Nationalist Irishman of the school of Dillon, 
refused to close his premises at Borris, county Carlow, on 
the occasion of the death of Lord Mayor McSweeney of 
Cork. He was boycotted, and thereupon took an action for 
damages against a number of his enemies, Michael 
O'Dempsey being his solicitor. A short while after, both 
Kennedy and O'Dempsey were shot from behind a wall in 
front of Kennedy's house. In the second case, William 
Good, an ex-captain in the Army, who had resumed his 
studies at Trinity College, Dublin, after being demobilised, 
returned home to attend the funeral of his father, who had 


been murdered at hi- own dour a few days before. He 

Kaiidnn on market in;.: business. On his return 

he was waylaid by aimed and masked DDUU .-d some 

way and done t< death, the following notice bein^r found: 

" Tried, OOQ . and execu and informers 

beware." r \ even worse. The first 

'it ma case recorded in the newspapers of April 

Mh, where an unarmed, defenceless, and \\ar-* rippled 

ex-soldier wa> murdered with n-vnl-jn^ brutality in 

Bother and sister, who were spattered with 
Oil blood. The second is in the papers tliis morning, where 
a p' i Kitty Carroll, the sole support of her 

aged father and mother and invalid brother, was dragged 
11 her house by a party of marked men, who murdered 
her, and attached to her body the legend: " Spies and 
informers beware! Tried, convicted, and executed by 


" I cite these cases because I think it is essential that 
people should realise the character of the Sinn Fein pol 
the principles upon which it acts, and the nature of its 

paign. Sinn Fein has never issued any condemnation 
of murder. Assassination and outrage are the weapons 
which it has deliberately chosen as the means by which i 
to tfain its ends. I should like to repeat that it was not 
until over 100 of their comrades had been cruelly 
assassinated that the police began to strike a blow in 
self-defence. Perhaps the most terrible aspect of the Irish 
situation to-day is the indifference which has grown up 
there to the crime of murder since Sinn Fein entered upon 
its campaign, though I cannot help feeling that in their 
hearts the Irish people are as shocked by it as we are. It 
has been a matter of surprise and regret to me that during 
the long agony no organised protest has been made by the 
religious bodies who have now addressed the Government 

leaders of Sinn Fein. 

" 1 would therefore most earnestly urir' ths,. who are 
responsible for the triiidinjr of the Christian conscience not 
to obscure the moral i>sue involved. 1 cordially sympat 
with them in their anxiety that the conduct of th< 
of the Crown >hould be above reproach, and I welcome the 
pressure which they put upon the (Government to secure 
that end. But when they couple with this a condonation 
of the policy of employing crime of the most atrocious kind 
to serve an end with which they sympathise they are not 
only prolonyin^ the strife in Ireland, but, in my judsrn.- 
they are striking at the very principles upon which the 

40 IRELAND IN 1921. 

the liberties, the prosperity, and the honour of civilised 
peoples depend. 

" I come now to the final point. The resolution pleads 
for the adoption of a different line of policy, and especially 
for a truce with a view to a deliberate effort after an agreed 
solution. If I thought there was a different policy which 
would lead to the solution of our difficulties, I should not 
hesitate to adopt it, however different it were from that 
which the Government is now pursuing 1 . The present state 
of affairs is due to one cause, and one cause only that there 
is still an irreconcilable difference between the two sides. 
The one side or rather the group which controls it stands 
for an independent Iiish Republic; the other stands for 
maintenance in fundamentals of the Union, together with 
the completest self-government for Ireland within the 
Empire which is compatible with conceding to Ulster the 
same right of self-determination within Ireland as 
Nationalist Ireland has claimed within the Union. Towards 
the solution of this problem the real problem the 
resolution makes no contribution, except the proposal for a 
truce. But a truce in itself will not bridge the gulf, 
though it might be useful if there were any doubt on either 
side as to where the other stands, or a basis for discussion 
were in sight. What really matters if we are to attain to 
peace is that a basis for a permanent settlement should be 

" I fully admit, and I have always admitted, that the 
declared policy of Sinn Fein and the policy of his Majesty's 
Government are irreconcilable. I believe that the policy 
of establishing an Irish Republic is impossible, for two 
reasons : First, because it is incompatible with the security 
of Great Britain and with the existence of the British 
Commonwealth; and second, because if it were conceded it 
would mean civil war in Ireland for Ulster would 
certainly resist incorporation in an Irish Republic by force 
and in this war hundreds of thousands of people, not 
only from Great Britain, but from all over the world, 
would hasten to take part. On the other hand, I believe 
that the policy of the Government the maintenance in 
fundamentals of the unity of the Kingdom coupled with 
the immediate establishment of two Parliaments in 
Ireland, with full powers to unite on any terms upon which 
they can agree upon themselves, is not only the sole 
practical solution, but one which is both just and wise in 
itself. I further believe that the present Home Rule Act 
is a sensible and workmanlike method of carrying this 


policy into effect. It confers on Ireland wider powers 
than either Glad bills or the .\< oi \'.n\. It bases 

the financial icla' . count r 

.hie capacity, and leave- to liishuirn themselves the 

.'hirving unity within their nun land. 

" Hut tin- present struggle is not about the Home Rule 

.it all. Fundamentally, tin* issue is the same as that in 

the war of North and South in the Uin 'es it is an 

n secession and union. At the outbreak of the 

great Ameri< an struggle, nearly everybody in these Islands 

;iathi>ed with the South, and were again-t the North. 

n Gladstone took this view. Only John JJright never 
wavered in his adherence to Lincoln's cause. That war 
lasted four years. It cost a million lives and u. 
devastation and ruin. There was more destruction of 
property in a single Confederate county than in all the 

.klled " reprisals " throughout the whole of Ireland. 
Lincoln always rejected alike truce and compromise. As 
he often said, he was fighting for the Union, and meant to 
save it even if he could only do so at the price of retaining 
slavery in the South. Is there a man or a woman to- 
who does not admit that the North was right, and does 

the calamitous results which would have followed the 
break-up of the American Union? I doubt if there is a 

onsible man in the Southern States to-day, however 
much he may admire the great figures like Stonewall 
.Jackson and Lee, who is not glad that the Union was 
preserved even at that terrible cost. 

* Is not our policy exactly the same? It is by reason 
of the contiguity of the two islands and their strategic and 
economic interdependence to fight secession and to maintain 
the fundamental unity of our ancient kingdom of many 
nations from Flambrough Head to Cape Clear, ami from 

B Wrath to land's Knd. I believe that our ideal of 
combining unity with Home Rule is a finer and a nobler 
ideal than that e\ nationalism which will T 

nothing less than isolation, which is Sinn Fein's 01 
to-day, and which if it had full play would Balkanise the 
world. I believe that once the struggle is over and 
bin. ,tten and unity has been preferred, all 

classes will ricluding a majority in Ireland itself, 

tliat in fundamental! the (iovernment were right and Sinn 
Fein were wrnir. 

" I do not see. therefore, how we can pursu rent 

line of policy. It has never been our policy to i 
compromise about anything but union i ml the i 

42 IRELAND IN 1921. 

coercion of Ulster. Throughout the whole of last year 
when the Home Kule Bill was before Parliament, I invited 
negotiations with the elected representatives of Ireland, 
stating that the only points I could not discuss were the 
secession of Ireland and the forcing of Ulster into an Irish 
Parliament against its will. I also added that in my 
judgment justice required that Ireland should carry its 
share of the war debt, as Irishmen in all other parts of the 
world have to do, and not throw an increased burden on 
those who are already carrying the largest share of the loss 
and cost of the war. To these overtures there was never a 
reply. And there has never been a reply, for the good 
reason that the real Sinn Fein organisation is not yet ready 
to abandon its ideal of an independent Irish Republic, 
including Ulster. That there are many Sinn Feiners who 
recognise the folly and impossibility of this attitude is 
certain. But I regret that it is no less certain that up to 
the present the directing minds of the Sinn Fein movement, 
who control the Irish Republican Army the real obstacle 
of peace believe that they can ultimately win a republic 
by continuing to fight as they fight to-day, and are 
resolutely opposed to compromise. I wish it were other- 
wise, but I think that if the signatories of the resolution 
would approach not moderate Irishmen, but those who 
control the Irish Republican Army, they would find that 
what I say is correct. Only a few days ago Mr. Michael 
Collins gave an interview to the " Philadelphia Public 
Ledger/' and declared uncompromisingly for an inde- 
pendent Irish Republic, and added that, in his judgment, 
11 the same effort which would get us Dominion Home Rule 
would get us a republic/' 

" So long as the leaders of Sinn Fein stand in this 
position, and receive the support of their countrymen, 
settlement is, in my judgment, impossible. The Govern- 
ment of which I am the head will never give way upon the 
fundamental question of secession. Nor do I believe that 
any alternative Government could do so either. I need not 
now speak for Ulster, for its people will shortly have a 
Parliament through which they can express their views 
as to incorporation in a Dublin Parliament for them- 
selves. I am willing and indeed anxious to discuss 
any and every road which promises to lead to a 
reconciliation of the parties to the present struggle. 
I recognise, as fully as any man, that force is itself no 
remedy and that reason and goodwill alone can lead us to 
the final goal. But to abandon the use of force to-day 


Id le to surrender alike to violence, rrinn -. and 
separatism, and that I am not prepared to do. So long-, 
therefore, as Sinn 1'Vin Ireland demand^ a republic 
ises to accept Io\;illy membership of the Hi: 

!th, coupled with the fullest Home Kule which 

'inpatihle with conceding to Ulster the same rights as 

it claim-, for itself, the present evils will continue. I do 

.nybody to he under any misunderstanding on 

that point. 

' In conclusion, I should like respectfully to suggest 
that the signatories of the resolution should make their own 
position clear to the people of Ireland. I have replied to 
their address with complete frankness. I venture 
believe that the majority of them are in agreement with the 
fundamental position set forth in this letter. If they 
desire to bring about peace, as they surely do, I believe that 
nothing would more rapidly promote it than that they and 
those who think like them, whatever they may think about 
some aspects of the policy of the present Government, 
should make it clear to Irish opinion that they can never 
attain their ends by resort to crime, that secession 
impossible, and that, if they are to have peace, they must 
be willing to concede to Ulstermen the same rights as they 
claim for themselves. Those are the fundamental fa 
To leave any doubt in the minds of Irishmen on these points 
is to prolong and not to shorten the present strife. Once 
they are grasped by Irishmen, I have faith that the end will 
be in sight, and I believe that nothing is more caloul.. 
to bring them home to Ireland than that those who are 
seeking to promote peace and concord with Ireland, should 
make this clear. Ever sincerely, 

The Lord Bishop of Chelmsford, &c." 

The reply to this letter was despatched on May 
4th, anil was as follows : 

" Dear Prime Minister, We have to thank you for the 
very full reply which you have been good enough to send 
to the communication recently addressed to yourself and 
Sir llaniar Greenwood on the Irish situation. We h 
neither the right nor the desire to engage you, amid \ 
IHUnberleM responsibilities, in further correspondence. 
Hut, on the other hand, that we may not seem discoun- 
to yourself, and in order to avoid misunderstanding, 
permit us the following brief observations. 

44 IRELAND IN 1921. 

" With regard to ' reprisals/ more especially 
unauthorised reprisals, we are not forgetful of the intense 
provocation offered. Also we note the assurances given of 
the Government's anxiety to prevent or to punish them 
condignly. But we venture to impress upon the Govern- 
ment anew the distress occasioned by the continued 
recurrence of such events. Crime perpetrated by those 
i-esponsible for the maintenance of order and right stands 
in a category by itself, and the facts stated in your letter 
as to the disciplinary measures which it has been found 
necessary to take, are of themselves evidence that it has 
not been infrequent. The refusal to hold public inquiry 
into serious allegations made by responsible persons against 
the conduct of the Crown forces, and also the withholding 
of the result of inquiries which have taken place, have 
deepened the grave disquiet felt by many minds. Reasons, 
we recognise, may be offered for the course thus pursued by 
the Government, but, as you must be aware, the impression 
it is apt to leave, both at home and abroad, is a very 
painful one. 

" We greatly regret that you should be under any 
misapprehension as to the view taken by us of ' the cruel 
and detestable outrages ' by which the Sinn Fein 
extremists have befouled their cause. That we should 
ourselves have thus described them ought to have protected 
us from the charge of " practically condoning the adoption 
by Sinn Fein of the weapon of wholesale jnurder on the 
ground that the * end justifies the means.' With 

emphasis we submit that the language we used can bear no 
such interpretation. To explain or even partially explain 
is by no means to excuse. We are impressed by what 
seems to us unimpeachable evidence that the policy of the 
Government in Ireland has succeeded only in inflaming the 
wound it was meant to heal. We have looked anxiously 
but in vain for any ameliorative results produced by it. 
On the contrary, active hostility continues unabated, 
moderate opinion is more and more alienated, and the 
cause of law and order fails everywhere of the support 
which is its due. It is this terrible reaction of the existing 
situation upon the Irish national mind and conscience 
which most of all weighs upon us, this and the fading hope 
of reaching along present lines any such agreed and happy 
resettlement as all must long to see. Hence our intense 
desire to see a new beginning made, to which at least all 
the better and more reasonable elements in the Irish people 
might rally. 


challenge us to make clear, to the In-i 

i;illy, what i- OH] DB with 

..f settlement you lay down, and to t 
challenge we respond. Hitherto \\ nly referred 

excesses for which tin* authorities might be held responsible, 

much as in that responsibility the (iovernment and we 

1 to lie involved. Hut it our voice could 

carry BO far, we would, and hereby do, urge th< i-'ein 

Ian with all the earr IB our power to d RNBt, 

and to secure the total suppn-sMon of, vile deeds which are 
an oiVence to God and man, and can only bring lasting 
disgrace upon their movement and alienate sympathy which 
might be felt for it. 

" On the fundamental question of secession, we 

\ve believe, along with the great majority of 
countrymen, at one with the Government . An independent 
Irish Republic we hold to be impracticable; and i 

it, agreed that Ulster is not to be coerced. At the 
same time it is for consideration how far conference and 
tiations should be restricted by limiting condit 

rehand, while even within these limits we are of 
opinion that an agreed solution is not unattainable. The 
Irish are a generous people. It is too much to be asked to 
believe that the forces of reason among them are dead, 
and even yet, in our judgment, statesmanship and goodwill 
might achieve an accommodation. The grievous and 
humiliating character of the situation must be the axOQM 

the insistence we have shown. But we i 
until such an attempt has been deliberately and patiently 
tried and has failed, many throughout the land will 
unable to acquiesce in any alternative policy 

This correspondence b;is Uvn quoted at length, 
not only because it includes the detailed reply of the 
Prime Minister to the critics of the Governmei 
policy, but also because it contains the main points 
of such criticism. In the month of May it 
becoming obvious that, despite optimistic forecn- 
the line of action pursued by the Government was 
failing to produce adequate results. A- has 
already been shown, the "Republican fmves v 
Incoming more daring in their operations, and. 

46 IRELAND IN 1921. 

despite frequent reverses in which they suffered 
considerable loss, their activities were taking an 
ever-increasing toll of the Crown forces. Negotia- 
tion seemed for the moment to have failed; the 
insistence on a laying down of arms as a preliminary 
to a truce would not be considered by the Republican 
leaders. The history of negotiations during this 
period will be recounted in a subsequent chapter. 
For the present it is enough to say that there seemed 
little prospect of terminating the conflict by 

The only alternative remaining was the 
untrammelled employment of force. Hitherto, as 
has been already explained, the military operations 
were subservient to the political situation. The 
fiction was maintained that Ireland as a whole was 
opposed to the methods of the Sinn Fein extremists, 
and that, if the people could be rescued from the 
terrorism of the gunmen, they would prove docile 
and obedient. As, therefore, the country was held 
to be friendly, and only appeared hostile through 
fear, military operations on an extensive scale, 
which would necessarily have involved considerable 
inconvenience to the populace, could not be under- 
taken. But at last, at the end of May, the Cabinet 
made up its mind that military measures could no 
longer be delayed. The Prime Minister announced 
that it was proposed to strengthen the Forces of the 
Crown in Ireland, and the General Staff prepared 
themselves for a campaign which everyone knew 
would be difficult and unsatisfactory. That Sinn 
Fein could be crushed if the full power of England 
were exerted, nobody denied. But equally certain 
was it that the process would be long and costly. 


The plan of campaign must necessarily be to declare 

: tial law over the whole of the twenty-six count 
of the South, which meant in effect the complete 
domination of the civil power by the military. The 
Commander in Chid would become the sole repre- 
sriitative of British authority, acting at the head of 
his armies in a hostile country. The people of 
Ireland would suffer all the restrictions which 
military necessity imposes on the inhabitants of a 

te of battle. There could be no reasonable doubt 
that the I.R.A. would receive an accession of 
strength on this ground alone. Finally, the only 
hope of a rapid and successful issue to the campaign 

ild be to concentrate the Crown Forces upon 
selected bases, and from them to conduct a sweep of 
the whole country. This would have the effect of 
leaving a large number of loyal inhabitants at the 
mercy of the insurgents, and the experience of recent 
months was a sufficient warning of what their fate 
would be in such circumstances. 

There were other serious disadvantages in such 
a policy. Despite the fact that Mr. de Valera had 
performed a signal service to the British cause 
during his residence in America the previous year, 
by splitting the Irish- American supporters of Sinn 
Fein into two bitterly hostile camps, the disorder in 
Ireland was definitely undermining the friendship 
between the United States and England. It was not 
so imieh that any large party in America supported 
the Republicans in their demand for independeii 
as the fact that the sympathy of any nation of 
An.irlo Saxon origin is bound to incline towards the 
cause of a smaller nation struir^liiig airainst the 
resources of a powerful State. The sympathy of 

48 IRELAND IN 1921. 

England with the Confederates during the Civil 
War had been a similar instance. In addition, the 
feelings of many people were outraged by the 
distorted stories of reprisals put into circulation 
by the Sinn Fein emissaries. The Republican 
propaganda department circulated such documents 
as Count Plunkett's Dignified Statement to the 
Nations of the World from which a few typical 
passages may be quoted : 

' The only serious disorder in the country is caused 
by the conversion of the police force into a military body 
of political anti-Irish agents empowered to commit outrages 
against the people in general with a guarantee of immunity 
of punishment from the English Cabinet. . . . Terrible 
crimes at the hands of the English are of frequent 
occurrence, the murder of priests, of women with child, 
and the deliberate drowning of unarmed men, the shooting 
of many unarmed and un arrested persons under the 
pretence that they were attempting to escape, the killing of 
untried and unarmed prisoners. . . . The English 
Parliament, the Prime Minister, the Chief Secretary and 
all the Government officials justify all excesses committed 
by their agents. . . . The whole people is driven into a 
defensive war through the hypocrisy and savage brutality 
of a powerful nation that is striving to extinguish the 
nationality of Ireland in blood. " 

This kind of thing was naturally damaging to 
the British cause when read by people who had no 
comprehensive grasp of the situation. There is no 
doubt that the continuance of the trouble in Ireland, 
and more especially its aggravation into a state of 
openly declared warfare, would have considerably 
weakened the voice of England in the councils of the 

But, notwithstanding the weight of these con- 
siderations, the decision of the Government to 
augment the strength of the Crown Forces in 
Ireland, with all that such a move entailed, was 


received with approval by the great bulk of the 
British nation. It was realised on all sides that the 
policy of half measures must be put an end to at all 

s Reprisal and counter-reprisal were leading 
to increased bloodshed, and it was extremely 
uncertain how lonir it would take to wear down the 

stance of the rebels by such methods of attrition. 
Then* were only two alternatives, to come to terms 
with Sinn Fein, or to exterminate its armed forces. 
The former seemed at the moment impossible, the 
latter must be undertaken. At the very time when 
a Home Rule Act, having at last received the 
approval of the British Parliament, was about to be 
put into operation, it must be demonstrated to be 
inacceptable to the Irish people, and only to be 
imposed upon them by force of arms. To such an 
extent had Irish demands grown since the days of 


Before proceeding further with the consideration 
of affairs in Ireland generally, it will be as well to 
deal with the situation in Northern Ireland, and the 
events which led up to the formation of the 
Northern Government under the Act. 

The Six Counties of Northern Ireland are 
predominantly Unionist and Protestant in their 
population, but they contain centres inhabited by 
Catholics, both Nationalist and Sinn Fein, and in 
the presence of Unionist majorities Nationalists and 
Sinn Feiners show a natural tendency to coalesce. 
This fact accounts for the perpetual outbreak of 
party feeling, leading to rioting and murder, which 
forms a turbulent background to the history of 
Ulster during the period under review. 

It must be remembered that there was nothing 
new in the existence of this intense party 
feeling. Despite the contentions of Sinn Fein and 
Nationalism that Ireland is an homogenous nation, 
it is obvious that the men of Ulster are of entirely 
different race and ideals from the men of the South. 
Without unduly labouring this point, it may be 
indicated that the whole history of Ulster and more 
particularly its borders is one of faction fighting and 
rivalry. The capture of Sinn Fein by the Irish 


Republican Brotherhood and the consequent trans- 

nation of a comparatively peaceful movement 
into an actively militant one merely intensified the 
mutual hatred of the factions. But an event of 

n greater importance was the introduction of the 
pistol and its development into a lethal weapon 
capable of being carried in the pocket or otherwise 
concealed about the person. In the old days, when 
a body of men marched about the country brandish- 
ing cudgels or carrying guns, their purpose was 
evident, and their plans could be circumvented by 
an alert police force. But now, when a party of 
men, indistinguishable except by process of search 
from the remainder of the population, can carry 
with them arms and ammunition sufficient for 
manslaughter on an extended scale, the task of 
circumventing them has become vastly more difficult. 
Further, it is in the nature of things that if one 

t ion sees itself menaced by gunmen (to apply the 
generally accepted Americanism to the men who 

ry loaded revolvers for the purpose of using 
them upon unarmed citizens) it will take steps to 
arm itself similarly in its own protection. The 
eventual result is that armed men abound on both 
sides, and the slightest pretext is sufficient to 
precipitate a conflict between them which is almost 
certain to have fatal results. 

At the end of 1920 the Royal Irish Constabulary 
in I'lster had Iven reinforced by a body of * special 
tallies ' raised from amonir the Unionist 
population. Despite careful selection of these men, 
and their ^roupin^ under experienced officers, there 
was an undoubted tendency for them to abuse 

ir official position. Seeing opposed to them 

52 IRELAND IN 1921. 

Republicans who did not hesitate to use their 
weapons upon unarmed Unionists, the special 
constables in their turn were apt to forget the 
limitations imposed upon them as a branch of the 
forces of law and order, and to indulge in vendettas 
on their own account against such Republicans as 
they knew. An example of this occurred towards 
the end of January. On the 22nd of the month, 
two constables of the R.I.C. were found dead on the 
public road near Monaghan. It appears that the 
two men had gone out for a walk, and that on their 
way back to barracks they were ambushed by a party 
of Republicans and murdered. On the following 
night, a body of special constables, about fifteen in 
number, set out from Newtownbutler, in County 
Fermanagh, just within the borders of the Six 
Counties and close to the scene of the murder. They 
made their way to Clones, in Southern territory, 
and arrived in the small hours of the morning at a 
public house owned by a man of the name of 
O'Reilly. Here, it is alleged, they called upon the 
occupants of the house to come down, but O'Reilly 
and another man made their escape by a back way, 
and ran to the R.I.C. barracks for assistance. A 
party of about a dozen regular R.I.C. immediately 
set out for the scene, and when they arrived found 
the Newtownbutler party engaged in looting the 
premises. They called on these men to surrender, 
but were answered by a volley. A fight ensued, in 
the course of which one of the raiders was killed 
and a second seriously injured. The R.I.C. finally 
succeeded in arresting the whole party. The 
Commissioner for Ulster at once took the strongest 
measures to deal with such incidents. Two platoons 


-pecial constabulary were immediately disbanded, 
the Ne\\ti)\vnl)iitler platoon being one of them, and 
the participants in the affray were tried by court- 

Another example of rapid reprisal took place in 
Belfast itself on the night of the 26th-27th. On 
the 2(>th three regular constables of the R.I.C. 
arrived in Belfast from Dublin, in connection with 
certain investigations then proceeding. They put 
up at a small hotel close to the barracks, where they 
u ere accommodated in a room having two beds. At 

>ing time, a group of men who had been drinking 
at the bar made as though to leave the premises, but 
suddenly made a dash up the staircase and into the 
room where the constables were sleeping. Shots were 

rd, and a few seconds later the men returned, 
flourishing their revolvers, and compelled the 
barman to let them out of a side door, through which 
they escaped into the darkness outside. The alarm 
\\as raised, and the police on their arrival found 
two of their comrades dead and the third so 
msly wounded that he died shortly after 
admission to hospital. 

Some hours later, three men visited a house a 

.iderahle distance from the scene of the first 
tra.L'edy. in which a man of the name of Garvey, 
a chemist's assistant and a reputed Sinn Feiner. 
known to lodge. They opened the door of the 
house with a latchkey, an action which caused no 
suspicion in the mind of the lodging-house keeper, 
who knew that one of the lodgers had not yet 
returned to the house. Making their way to 
(iarvey's room, they shot him dead as he slept, and 

iped before they could be detained. 

54 IRELAND IN 1921. 

Towards the middle of February, signs of danger 
began to evince themselves in Belfast. On the 18th 
of the month an attack was made by Republicans on 
the Protestant shipyard workers as they returned 
from work. As they left the yards, they were met 
with volleys of stones flung from the side streets of 
the Sinn Fein quarter which they were compelled to 
traverse. Not unnaturally, they replied with similar 
missiles, and a regular skirmish was soon in pro- 
gress. The authorities brought an armoured car on 
to the scene, and order was soon restored, but not 
before considerable damage had been done. Owing 
to the vigilance of the police, no further outbreaks 
developed from this incident, but it was evident that 
the trouble was merely simmering below the surface. 

On March llth, while a group of constables of 
the R.I.C. were standing outside the Empire 
Theatre in Belfast, they were suddenly fired upon, 
and two of their number killed and a third wounded. 
A Protestant shipyard worker who was standing 
close by was seriously wounded and died some days 
later. It was believed that the assailants were not 
local men, but had been imported by the Republicans 
to stir up strife in the city, which had been 
comparatively peaceful for some weeks. The death 
of the shipyard worker was responsible for a 
demonstration in the part of the city in which he 
lived, rival mobs coming into conflict and causing 
some damage before they could be dispersed by the 

On the 16th occurred an incident which showed 
how strong the current of party feeling was running. 
Works had been started by the Belfast Corporation 
for the relief of the unemployed, and several 


hundred men were engaged upon them. At a pre- 
arranged signal, the Catholic members of this party, 
who happened to be in the majority, produced 

olvers and drove the Protestants from the scene. 
During the following days disturbances of varying 
degrees of seriousness occurred throughout the city 
and its environs. At the same time evidence was 
forthcoming that the Republicans were determined 
to leave no stone unturned to enforce the Ulster 
boycott. During the early morning of the 17th, a 
party of raiders descended upon Richhill Station, 
on the Great North of Ireland Railway between 
Portadown and Armagh. Their first action was to 
isolate the station by cutting the telegraph wires, 
and they then proceeded to soak the premises with 
petrol and set fire to them, devoting the greater part 
of their efforts to the goods shed, which happened 
to be well filled. They then turned their attention 
to the sidings, in which lay a number of laden 

j;ons. These they destroyed in a similar manner. 
The raiders rounded off their exploit by holding up 
an incoming train and purloining the mails, after 
which they decamped as suddenly as they had 

Some days later tame news of the murder of 

Loyalists in the country districts of Ulster. On the 

21st, a concerted attack was made upon the farms 

and houses of Unionists living on the Fermana 

Monairhan larder. Two of these were murdered 

while defending their property, and much damage 

dmie. It subsequently transpired that the 

object of this raid was to intimidate members of the 

ial constabulary, and to discourage others from 

enlisting in the ranks of the force, lest their ho: 

56 IRELAND IN 1921. 

should be raided in their absence. The outrage 
caused considerable excitement in Belfast, and the 
smouldering enmity between the factions broke out 
into open rioting. The funeral cortege of a Unionist 
victim was fired upon as it passed a Nationalist 
quarter of the city, and firing ensued on both sides, 
resulting in several injuries being inflicted. The 
Unionist faction were continually embittered by the 
news of the murder of their co-religionists in the 
country districts, where the campaign against them 
continued. In County Monaghan especially murders 
became frequent and in more than one case were 
distinguished by circumstances of exceptional 

Late on the night of April 1st, a determined 
attack was made on the military and police 
protecting the city of Londonderry. Simultaneous 
firing was indulged in by Sinn Fein bands, working 
obviously on a pre- determined scheme, at the 
barracks and the protection posts throughout the 
city. A police sergeant was killed, and several 
persons wounded, but through the promptitude of 
the authorities, who immediately put the city in a 
state of defence, no further casualties were incurred, 
although sniping took place for some days further. 

On the 4th of the month an attempt was made to 
destroy the Ulster Club in Belfast. Two bombs 
were flung at the building, but no damage was done, 
and the attackers made off before they could be 

It had been known for some weeks past that the 
Republicans had organised a certain portion of the 
Irish Republican Army in the form of ' Flying 
Columns, ' or bodies of men equipped for operations 


in districts other than those to which they belonged. 
These Flying Columns were particularly active on 
the Ulster border, where they made the members of 
the special constabulary their chief objective. On 
the night of April 5th-6th, a wide area in County 
Tyrone was the scene of their operations. Police 
barracks were attacked, and patrols of police 
engaged in carrying out their ordinary duties were 
ambushed. On the following night a party of 
armed and masked men visited a number of houses 
in Dromore, where a special constable had been 
wounded in the original affray. Three young men 
belonging to the village and suspected of Sinn Fein 
sympathies were taken from their homes, and their 
dead bodies subsequently found lying on the main 
road a short distance from the village. 

Throughout April and May a similar state of 
a flairs continued, but meanwhile the interest in the 
elections for the first Ulster Parliament, and the 
e\ ents connected therewith diverted public attention 
from other matters. The selection of Sir James 
Craig as leader of the Ulster Unionists has already 
been mentioned, and it was about him that the hopes 
of the Province now revolved. But the campaign 
actually opened before he accepted the post of leader, 
and the speeches of Sir Edward Carson, as he then 
was. struck the key-note of the Ulster Unionist 
position. Speaking at Torquay on January 31st, 
he said : 

' I do not believe in any policy of what is called Home 
Ttule for Ireland. But the 'Government have paood a Bill 
into law, and they have given a Parliament to the \orth 
and a Parliament to the South. I have undertaken, as the 
only alternative left, to do my best to see that the Ulster 
people shall welcome that Parliament, for the benefit of 

58 IRELAND IN 1921. 

the United Kingdom and the benefit of the Empire. And 
I believe they will. But there are people going about who 
want to upset that. I appeal to them to give us a chance, 
to stand by us. Let the Government know that we do not 
want to associate with a gang of murderers called Sinn 
Fein, with their sham Parliament and a sham cry, all of 
which have had their basis in hostility to this country. 
Tell the British Government that you believe in supporting 
your friends and fighting your enemies, and not sacrificing 
your friends for the sake of conciliating your enemies. I 
hope to go on in the same course that I have always gone 
on. I believe the day will come when Ireland itself will 
come crawling to Great Britain and say * For God's sake 
restore us to the position we had formerly in the United 
Parliament of the two countries/ There is no one in the 
world who would be more pleased to see an absolute unity 
in Ireland than I would, and it could be purchased 
to-morrow, at what does not seem to be a very great price. 
If the South and West of Ireland came forward to-morrow 
to Ulster and said ' Look here, we have to run our old 
island, and we have to run her together, and we will give 
up all this everlasting teaching of hatred of England, we 
will shake hands with you, and you and we together within 
the Empire doing our best for ourselves and the United 
Kingdom and for all his Majesty's Dominions will join 
together/ I will undertake to say that Ulster would accept 
the handshake and would do it for the sake of this country, 
our own sake, and the sake of the whole Empire/' 

A few days later, addressing His constituents in 
Belfast, he explained his reasons for advising Ulster 
to accept and work the terms of the Act. He 
admitted that he himself and those in Ulster had 
never asked for, never wanted, and never believed 
in Home Rule in any shape or form. In the old 
form in which Mr. Asquith had put it upon the 
Statute Book they had been prepared to fight against 
it because it not only deprived them of their position 
in the United Kingdom, but it claimed the power to 
put them under the Sinn Fein Parliament in Dublin. 
That, they said, no Government on earth had the 
right to do, could do, or would try to do. The 


under the present A s different. They 

were not put under the Sinn Fein Parliament. They 
had been told that they could govern themselves. 
Nobody was ever mad enough to fight against some- 
body telling them to govern themselves, therefore he 
advised the people of North-East Ulster, and he 
never felt any doubt of the advice he gave, that as 
they had been offered the right to govern themselves 
it was their duty to accept that offer. While that 
closed one chapter in the history of Ulster, and if it 
closed it not with absolute victory for Ulster, it 
closed it, at all events, with this declaration on 
U'lialf <>t Great Britain, and, he believed, on behalf 
of the whole Empire, that the services of Ulster in 
the past had been such, and her loyalty and her 
progress had been such, that no Government for 
{x)litical or other purposes would have the right to 
take away her independence and place her under a 
government which she would abhor and detest. 
Ulster, therefore, remained as she always had been, 
unconquered and unconquerable. 

Early in March Mr. de Valera gave an inter \ 
to the representative of the Associated Press of 
America, in the course of which he said : 

" The Partition A< : ii an Act of a foreign and hostile 
assembly. The Irish people as a whole will never 
it. The people even of the Six Count 
consulted about it in any recognised way. It was designed 
to perpetuate division and Motional rancour annm^t Irish- 
men. . . . When the elect inns come, they will p- 
that industrial I'lster is nt so Mind to its owii int< 
to court being severed fi in the 

Agricultural areas in the rest of the island. The bo 
Hel- ,1s which is now operating is but the opening 

B !' "hat will heroine :l complete and absolute exclusion 
"f 1> if the Partition Act is put into etV. 

The enormity of Mr. de Valera 's error and 

60 IRELAND IN 1921. 

the futility of his threat were shortly to be 

On April 25th Sir James Craig issued a 
Manifesto to the Loyalist Electors of Northern 
Ireland, in the course of which he said : 

" Those for whom I venture to speak place in the 
forefront of their ideals and aspirations devotion to the 
Throne, close union with Great Britain, pride in the 
British Empire, and an earnest desire for peace throughout 
Ireland. . . . The first Parliament will be faced with 
problems gravely affecting the future. The best way to 
extend our resources, expand trade, stabilise agriculture 
and other industries, remodel education, amend the 
licensing laws, and ensure a brighter future for the great 
masses of workers in our midst is to begin by concentrating 
on the supreme issue of securing a strong working majority 
without which the Government could not be carried on, 
and without which disaster must inevitably follow. Upon 
that majority will rest the responsibility of nominating the 
Northern quota in the Council of Ireland, where our 
representatives will be charged with the important duty 
of protecting our interests and of guarding the rights and 
privileges of the Six Counties against encroachment by the 
Southern Parliament. To put it plainly, failure to secure 
an effective working majority would mean immediate 

submergment in a Dublin Parliament The fate 

of the Six Counties hangs in the balance, and with the 
Six Counties the interests of Loyalists in other parts of 
Ireland. The eyes, both of friends throughout the Empire, 
who wish us success, and of enemies who desire our failure, 
will be watching our first proceedings. It is our duty, 
therefore, not only to lay aside minor issues and, if need 
be, to sacrifice personal interests, but to work with whole- 
hearted energy and goodwill between now and the day of 
the poll in order to secure the election of those candidates 
alone who can be trusted worthily to represent the great 
cause which we all have at heart. We have overcome many 
a crisis, weathered many a storm. Let us together win yet 
another victory and lay the foundation of a model 
Parliament of our own." 

Sir James Craig was not the man to restrict his 
efforts to the issue of manifestoes or to incur the 
reproach of irreconcilability from the wavering 


lion of his electors. The accusation mi^ht at any 
time be levelled against Ulster that she alone stood 
in the way of lush peace, and that a conciliatory 
gesture on her part, which might have reconciled the 
South to the Act, had never been made. Sir James 
determined that such a gesture should be made in the 
most impressive c inn instances possible, with little 
hope that it would bear fruit, indeed, but in the 
knowledge that the very fact of his having made it 
would strengthen his position at the polls and 
demonstrate to the world that it was not the fault 
of Ulster if Irish unity should be as remote as ever. 

The first hint of such a move was made by him at 
Banbridge on May 2nd. He declared that he 
himself would accept membership of the Council of 
Ireland, and that if de Valera's party became 
supreme in the South as the result of the elections, 
it was for de Valera himself to take a similar step, 
in order that mutual discussion might take place on 
all matters affecting the welfare of Ireland as a 
whole. On the following day at Bangor he put the 
matter yet more plainly. If it were considered 
necessary to hold meetings between Mr. de Valera 
and himself, he said, he was perfectly prepared to 
meet Mr. de Valera. But the Act provided for such 
meetings. The first duty laid down by the Act was 
to found the Council of Ireland. The first duty of 
his colleagues and himself would be to select a band 
of men to p> down or wait in Ulster for the others. 

me up and meet them on the Council of Ireland. 
He promised, with the approval of his colleagues, 
to go into that Council himself, and it was for Mr. 
de Valera and his colleagues to meet him there, if 
they were supreme in the South and West, and 

62 IRELAND IN 1921. 

discuss all matters which were considered to be for 
the benefit of Ireland as a whole. 

That Mr. de Valera would not accept Sir James 
Craig's challenge to meet him in the lists of the 
Council was already evident. Not more than a 
couple of days earlier the Bail had issued a 
proclamation to the effect that although that body, 
as the Representative Assembly of the Irish 
Republic, had consented to recognise the popular 
elections under the Act, " in order that the will of 
the people may once more be demonstrated," they 
forbade the electoral bodies specified in the Act to 
take any steps in the election of candidates to the 
Senate of Southern Ireland. It was hardly likely 
that the Dail would be inclined to recognise the 
Council any more than the Senate. But the 
gauntlet had been flung, and the challenger had 
reason to know that it would not be allowed to 
remain unheeded. On May 4th Sir James left 
Belfast hurriedly at the request of Lord Fitzalan, 
and proceeded to Dublin to meet the new Viceroy. 
In Dublin came the answer to the challenge, in the 
form of an invitation from Mr. de Valera to meet 
him at a rendezvous close by. Sir James accepted, 
and an informal conference between the two leaders 
took place. 

The incident caused a considerable sensation at 
the time, and in England, at least, high hopes were 
entertained that the meeting might be repeated and 
that a more formal conference might ensue between 
representatives of North and South, which would 
result in a compromise over the working of the Act. 
It was suggested that the British Government had 
arranged the meeting, that it was part of the secret 


" peace moves ' then snp{>osed to be proceed) 
As a matter of fact, it was nothing more than the 
answer to Sir James Craig's challenge, and it 
displayed a hiL r h degree of courage and statesman- 
ship on the part of the Ulster leader that the 
meeting took place. Although nothing further came 
of it. although Sir dames must from the first have 

in led n as a forlorn hope, the position of the 
I'nionists and their programme were immensely 
strengthened both in Ulster and in the eyes of the 
world. The challenge had emanated from them, no 
longer could it be said that the obstinacy of Ulster 
blocked the way to peace. 

Speaking at Holywood on his return, Sir James 
made able apology for his action. Could he, as the 
leader of the men and women of Ulster, refuse the 
invitation of Mr. de Valera to meet him and to do 
\\ hat he could to bring peace to the land, to discuss 
the whole future of the country and to do what he 

id to try to come to some understanding whereby 
the foul campaign of murder could be mitigated? 
So the incident terminated, and the eyes of Ulster 
nore centred upon the elections. 

The nominations took place on May 13th. The 

had established fifty-two seats in the Northern 

Parliament, and for these the Unionists put forward 

forty candidates, the Nationalists twelve, Labour 

and Sinn Fein twenty. Mr. de Valera was 

nominated for County Down, and Mr. Michael 

Collins for Anna The uii|x>pularity of the 

Labour candidates was displayed from the outset. 

On the 17th, a hand of Unionist shipyard workers 

A possession of the Ulster Hall in order to piv\ 
its use by a Labour demonstration. On the arrival 

64 IRELAND IN 1921. 

of the Labour candidates they were invited to lay 
their views before the gathering, but this, probably 
wisely, they declined to do. The invaders proceeded 
to hold a meeting of their own, and their temper was 
shown by the fact that an interrupter was severely 
handled and had to be removed to hospital. On the 
same day armed and masked men attacked Mr. 
Robert Moore, a prominent Belfast Labour leader, 
in his office, fortunately without fatal results. 

Despite all the signs of the superior strength of 
their party in Ulster, the Unionists were extremely 
nervous lest they should fail to secure the overwhelm- 
ing majority necessary to justify in the eyes of the 
world their insistence on partition. The usual 
danger of over-confidence seemed to offer a 
possibility of the overthrow of their hopes. The 
mass of the Unionist electors were so certain that all 
men must subscribe to the policy they themselves 
had held since childhood, that it seemed to them 
unnecessary to go to the trouble of recording 
their opinions at the poll. This spirit gave hope 
to the Nationalist-Sinn-Fein combination. The 
election was to be conducted under the system of 
proportional representation, and it was argued, 
rightly or wrongly, that in the event of a small poll 
the minority parties obtained more than their fair 
share of the members elected. The Nationalist 
leaders were determined to bring into the field every 
ounce of their strength. Their voters were told that 
under the system of proportional representation 
there was a probability, almost amounting to a 
certainty, of killing partition if all the people who 
dreaded and abhorred it asserted and exercised their 
right to vote. Sir James Craig even allowed a note 


of anxiety to creep into his public utterances. His 
oppoii, capital out of his remark to the 

effect that it I'l sin-men could not stand together 
they must fall together rather tlian pay tribute to 
the terrorists of the country. 

On May >rd, the eve of the poll, Sir James 

(1 his final message. 

" The cause is sacn-d and worthy of -very personal 

sacrifice. . . . The Union -lark must sweep the polU. 

! he eyes of our t throughout the Empire 

an- upon u^. I^-t them s'* that we are as determined as 

they to uphold the cause of loyalty." 

This was supplemented by a message received 
from Sir Kduard Carson. 

" I rely up , loyalist man and woman in I': 

t< rally round you to morrow in your ^reat fight for civil 
and DI iih.'rty. Ulster must be saved from the 

tyran he assassin vote.'* 

Sinn Fein agencies published a rival message 
from Mr. de Valera. 

" Men and women of North-East Ulster, politicians 
and stat'snn'ii d*'< -lare the Irish problem to be insoluble, 
Km you plain people ran solve it in a few hours to-morrow 

in tin' quirt and privacy of the polling booth. Vote 
to-nmrrow avrain>t war with your fellow countrymen. Vote 
that brother's hand may not have to be raised against 
brother'*. Vote so that there may be an end to boycott 
and retaliation, to partition, disunion, and ruin. Orange 
and (IHM-FI together ran command the fiitur 
i> Ireland p'a-'ful. jirospt-rous, and happy. Vote for it." 

In I VI fast it^lf the Unionists seemed to be full 
of confidence. Throughout the city triumphal 
aivht's wero orvi'trd, and in some places Unionist 
enthusiasts painted the pavements in stripes of red 
white and hlue. The supply of Union Jacks ran 
cut at an early stai;e of the proceedings, and a 
stranger would hardly have imagined that tl 
could be any doubt as to the result. But the Sinn 


66 IRELAND IN 1921. 

Fein preparations were as earnest if less demonstra- 
tive. Unionist voters were inundated with leaflets, 
and the walls plastered with posters, containing the 
wildest prognostics of the fearful things that would 
happen if partition should be perpetuated. More 
practical steps to secure a majority were taken by 
them in the outlying districts. Bridges over which 
Unionist communities would have to pass in order 
to reach the polling stations were destroyed, nails 
were scattered on the roads to make them impassable 
for motorists. The influence of the Roman Catholic 
Church was brought to bear to ensure that all 
Catholic voters supported the Nationalist or Sinn 
Fein candidates, the particular brand of non- 
Unionism being left to the voter's personal 
preference. The Labour candidates were disre- 
garded, the coming fight at the polls was to be a 
straight one between Partition and Non-Partition. 
May 24th, Empire Day, opened in a blaze of 
colour and excitement. The polling booths were 
thronged long before their hours of opening by 
constituents anxious to record their votes. Early in 
the day more than half the electors had polled, and 
it was estimated by evening that ninety per cent., an 
unprecedented proportion, of the electors in the 
Province had voted. A certain amount of rioting 
and disorder took place, as might have been 
expected, considering the height to which party 
spirit had been raised by the prospects of the election 
and all that hung upon it. The most elaborate 
precautions were taken by the authorities to prevent 
serious outbreaks and to protect the ballot-boxes. 
Military and police patrolled the city of Belfast and 
mounted guard at the polling stations; in the 


utry districts they were reinforced by the special 
constables. As It of these precautions the 

election passed olT \\itlmut serious incident. 

On the 'Jiith the returns began to be made public. 
The Act had allotted sixteen seats to the city of 
I M fast, and for these sixteen vacancies fifteen 
Unionist candidates had stood. Against them had 
ed five Nationalists and five Sinn Feiners. 
The whole of the fifteen Unionists were returned, 
and of their opponents one Nationalist only, Mr. 
Devlin, in the West Division of the city. The total 
defeat of the Sinn Fein element caused widespread 

u-ing throughout the city, except in the 
Nationalist quarters, where some slight rioting took 
place. During the following days, the results in 
the provincial constituencies came in. Queen's 
University returned four Unionists; County Antrim, 
out of its seven allotted seats, returned five 
Unionists, one Nationalist, and one Sinn Feiner; 
County Armagh, out of four seats, returned two 
Unionists. <>ne Nationalist, and one Sinn Feiner; 
the combined counties of Fermanagh and Tyrone, 
out .;ht seats, returned four Unionists, one 

Nationalist, and three Sinn Feiners; Derry City and 
County, out of five seats, returned four Unionists 
and one Nationalist ; and County Down, after a 

ies of recounts and final allotments necessitated 
by the system, six Unionists, of whom Sir James 
Craig headed the poll, one Sinn Feiner, Mr. de 
Valeni, and one Nationalist. Mr. Devlin, already 
returned for West Belfast, was again returned 

lie Nationalist member for County Antrim. The 
Sinn Fein members returned included Messrs. 
Michael Collins and Arthur Griffith. Of the total 



of forty Unionist candidates nominated, not one 
failed to secure election. This fact in itself is a 
striking demonstration of the antipathy of Ulster 
to the policy and methods of Sinn Fein, and of the 
determination of the Province to resist to the utmost 
any attempt to incorporate it in an united Ireland, 
so long as the South adhered to the domination of 
Sinn Fein. In Tyrone and Fermanagh alone was 
there any doubt as to the issue. Here the Unionists 
and the Nationalist-Sinn Fein group had shared the 
honours, an omen of the dissension and warfare 
which were to arise later. 

All was now ready for the first meeting of the 
first Northern Parliament, except the possession of 
a suitable building. The Belfast Corporation was 
approached for the loan of the City Hall, pending 
the provision of other premises, and the request was 
readily granted. The preliminary meeting was 
fixed for June 7th, and the formal opening for the 
21st of the same month. An unpleasant reminder 
that the irreconcilable element were unlikely to abide 
peacefully by the result of the elections came on 
May 31st. A determined effort was made to destroy 
the premises of the firm who supplied the transport 
for the removal of the ballot-boxes after the election. 
A number of raiders held up the caretaker on the 
premises and poured paraffin over the offices and set 
them on fire. The fire was fortunately extinguished 
before any great damage was done. 

On June 4th Sir James Craig had a magnificent 
reception on the occasion of his addressing the Ulster 
Unionist Association for the first time since the 
election. In his speech he thanked the people of 
Ulster for securing such a decisive result, and 


continued by appealing to the South to follow their 
example, and instead of standing aloof from the 
Act, to grapple with the machinery which lay to 
their hand, and so work out the salvation of the 
country. If that were done he would guarantee 
that the men of the South and West would find the 
men of the North rejoicing with them, and not 
jealous of their success. They in the North would 
be only too delighted to see the harbours of Cork and 

w here turned into great engines of industry, the 
same as they had in the North of Ireland. But 
having said so much, let it be clear that there was to 
be no tampering whatever with the rights Ulster had 
been granted under the Act. There were persons 
who were continually attempting to fritter away 
those rights, but the position he had been placed in 
an impregnable position, because, instead of 
dealing with those who in the past had ever been 
ready to give away the rights of Ulster, their 

i lies would now have to deal with a man who 
would p;> down into the grave sooner than betray by 
one single inch the rights of Ulstermen as British 

The first Northern Parliament was assembled in 
t he City Hall at Belfast on June 7th for the purpose 
of transartini: preliminary business, in the presence 
of the Lord Lieutenant. The Nationalist and Sinn 
TYin members did not attend, and the proceedings 
were purely formal. But at a luncheon held subse- 

ntly, Sir James Craig announced the event which 
he had previously foreshadowed, namely, that the 
King had consented to open the Parliament of 
Northern Ireland on June 22nd. 

The announcement was greeted with the wildest 

70 IRELAND IN 1921. 

enthusiasm throughout loyal Ulster. Preparations 
were at once begun to give the Royal party a 
reception such as had never before been witnessed in 
Ireland. It was evident that the great majority of 
the people meant to utilise the occasion as an oppor- 
tunity of displaying the traditional affection of 
Ulster for the Throne, as well as their individual 
loyalty to its occupant. At the same time the 
leaders of Sinn Fein determined to do everything in 
their power to mar the demonstration of unanimity 
which it was the desire of the Unionists to present. 
Their opportunity soon came. On the night of 
Saturday, the llth, a quarrel between a group of 
men in one of the areas of the city in which Unionists 
and Nationalists lived in close proximity developed 
with extraordinary rapidity into a battle in which 
revolvers and stones were freely used. Some twenty 
people were injured, and it was not until some hours 
had elapsed that the police were able to restore 
order. The incident in itself was of no particular 
significance in the long and unhappy list of such 
affrays which disfigures the history of Belfast in 
recent years, but it led to a series of murders which 
necessarily embittered the feeling between the 
factions. In the early hours of the morning a 
motor-van drove up to the door of residents in the 
northern part of the city, three of whom were 
dragged from their beds and murdered in cold blood. 
On the following night the rioting was renewed, 
and in the course of it four persons were killed, 
including a special constable of the name of Sturdy. 
On the 13th matters looked very serious. At the 
time when the workers were making their way to 
the shipyards, they were held up by a gang of Sinn 


Fein gunmen, who had taken up a position com- 
manding their line of approach to their work. The 

!<j were not dislodged until several men had been 

,mled. On the same date the funeral cortege of 
Special Constable Sturdy was molested as it passed 
a Sinn Fein quarter, and in the fracas which ensued 
several people were injured. News was also 
received of an k upon the source of the city's 

water supply in the Mourne Mountains, in the course 
of which considerable damage was done. For some 
days the rioting continued. At the height of the 
trouble the gunmen actually entrenched themselves 
in the smaller streets, firing upon all who passed, 
and necessitating a regular assault by the Crown 
Forces to dislodge them. It was obviously the 
intention of the Sinn Feiners to reduce the city to 
such a state of disorder that the visit of the King, 
and possibly the opening of Parliament itself, would 
have to be postponed. However, by means of a 
concentration of troops and police, the authori: 
managed to avert such a calamity, and the ferment 
iually died down. 

In the meanwhile the business of election of the 
Northern Senate had been completed. The Act 
provided that twenty-four senators were to be elected 
on the system of proportional representation by the 
members of the Northern House of Commons. On 
this principle, the parties would have been entitled 
to representation in the Senate to the extent of 
eighteen Unionist monitors, three Nationalist 
members, and three Sinn Fein memK No 

nominations \ eived from either the Sinn Fein 

\ationalist members of the Commons, and finally 
the required number of senators were nominated 

72 IRELAND IN 1921. 

unopposed from the ranks of the Unionist party. 
The Senate held its first session on June 20th. 

On the 23rd the King opened the Northern 
Parliament in state, amid scenes of the greatest 
enthusiasm. The enthusiasm was in the first place 
for the King, who had by his action in opening 
Parliament in person paid the highest possible 
compliment to the new State of Northern Ireland. 
No doubt many of those who cheered the Royal 
route through the city had had misgivings as to the 
success which should ultimately attend the great 
experiment of Home Rule and partition. But in 
the main the city, and with it the whole of Ulster, 
realised the significance of the event which was 
responsible for the visit of the King, and acclaimed 
it as the charter which would guarantee them from 
all further danger of aggression. The mind of 
Ulster was made up. Rightly or wrongly she 
regarded all attempts to induce her to co-operate 
with the South except on her own terms as 
aggression, and rightly or wrongly she believed that 
the powers given her under the Act defended her 
from the irritation of English inducements to alter 
her position. In her eyes the pomp attending the 
opening of her first Parliament was the bright robe 
adorning the fair form of the new-born Ulster 
Liberty, liberty to continue her glorious resistance 
against the powers of evil, or, as her enemies had it, 
to continue in her path of obstinacy and bigotry. 

But, as events proved, the historical importance 
of the King's visit was due not so much to its effect 
upon Ulster, but to its effect upon the rest of Ireland. 
The King's Speech contained the first hint of the 
altering circumstances which ended in the signing 


of the London Treaty of December. From the 
moment of its delivery, a change took place in the 
relations between Britain and the South, a hope 
e that in negotiation rather than by force of 
arms peace would be attained. The passages con- 
taining this hint were as follows: 

" Full partnersli ij> in the United Kingdom and 

religious freedom Ireland has long- enjoyed. She now has 

conferred upon her the duty of dealing- with all the 

i tasks of domestic legislation and government; 

I f .1 no misgiving as to the spirit in which you who 

stand here to-day will carry out the all-important functions 

entrusted to your care. 

" My hope is broader still. The eyes of the whole 
Kmpire are on Ireland to-day. ... I speak from a full 
iien I pray that my coming to Ireland to-day may 
prove to be the first step towards an end of strife amongst 
her people, whatever their race or creed. In that hope I 
appeal to all Irishmen to pause, to stretch out the hand of 
forebearance and conciliation, to forgive and to forget, and 
to join in making for the land which they love a new era of 
peace, contentment, and good-will. It is my earnest desire 
that in Southern Ireland too there may ere long take place 
a parallel to what is now passing in this hall; that there a 
similar occasion may present itself and a similar ceremony 
be performed. 

" For this the Parliament of the United Kingdom ha> 
in the fullest measure provided the powers; for this the 
Parliament of Ulster is pointing the way. The future lies 
in the hands of my Irish people themselv May this 

historic gathering be the prelude of a day in whirh the 

; ! prople. North and South, under one Parliament or 
tun, as those Parliaments may themselves deride, shall 
worV n romnion 1 Ireland upon the sure 

foundation of mutual justice and respect.*' 

The of the King passed off without 

untownrd incident, and Ulster set to work to govern 
ording to her lights. 


In order that we may fully realise the magnitude 
of the change in the Irish situation during the 
following month, it will be necessary to examine in 
some detail the events of the month of June. We 
have already dealt with the course of events in the 
North, and have seen the birth of the new State 
created by the Government of Ireland Act. It is 
now time to survey the very different conditions 
which obtained in the South. 

It must be repeated that the passing of the Act 
and the elections held under it in the South had no 
influence on the state of the country. Sinn Fein 
had, as already mentioned, sanctioned the elections, 
and the members so elected regarded themselves as 
members of the Dail to which they were entitled to 
entry on taking the oath of allegiance to the 
Republic. But Sinn Fein refused to allow elections 
to take place for the Senate of Southern Ireland, 
or to carry out any of the provisions of the Act. 
The Act provided that unless at least half of the 
members of the Southern Parliament took the oath 
within a fortnight of the summoning of Parliament, 
the Lord Lieutenant had power to dissolve that 
Parliament, and to take steps to govern the South 
with the assistance of a legislative assembly, a 
process which would have been tantamount to a 


continuance of British rule. This was the prospect 
facing the South throughout the month, for it soon 
became obvious that Sinn Fein had no intention of 
allowing the Southern Parliament to function. 
Both sides knew that a crisis was inevitable, that 
the failure of the Act and open and declared war 
were inseparable. The only hope of averting the 
catastrophe lay in negotiation, and the prospects 
of success by this means seemed too slender to hang 
the smallest hope upon. 

Meanwhile the Republicans proceeded with an 
ever intensified campaign of outrage, to which the 
Crown Forces replied by a policy of burning the 
houses of those suspected to be in collusion with the 
rebels. This policy failed as it was bound to do. 
The rebels merely imitated it on a larger scale, and 
for every house burnt by the Crown Forces, they 
destroyed the mansion of some well-known loyalist. 
Is was merely a matter of time before the country 
must become uninhabitable from lack of housing. 
Public opinion in England had no patience with 
such methods. It was obvious that the burning of 
houses could have little or no deterrent effect upon 
the operations of the I.R.A., and it was far too late 
to suppose that the people as a whole were in a 
position to refuse aid to the rebels even though the 
penalty were the destruction of their homes. 

In the course of a debate in the House of 
Commons on June 1st the objections to the Govern- 
ment's policy were voiced from all quarters of the 
House, and the futility of the proceedings was 
displayed. General Seely, in opening the debate, 
prefaced his criticism by the statement that no blame 
attached to the troops themselves, who acted stn 

76 IRELAND IN 1921. 

in accordance with their orders. He raised the issue 
that the Government had failed to issue orders in 
accordance with the general principles laid down by 
the Chief Secretary, namely, that there should be 
no destructions except on purely military grounds, 
for instance, that the premises had been used as 
cover for an ambush, or that the occupants were 
known to have participated in operations against 
the Crown Forces. He alleged that people's homes 
were destroyed as reprisal pure and simple, in the 
absence of incriminating reasons. He cited an 
instance of the destruction, under orders of the 
Competent Military Authority, of a house in 
which were residing two women of known loyalist 
sympathies. The question was, who ordered the 
reprisals? There were two authorities in Ireland, 
and there was a divergence of policy between them. 
One man commanded the troops, and another 
commanded the police, and there was no proper 
co-ordination between them. To end the trouble 
the authority must be put in the hands of one man. 
In the latter part of his speech General Seely 
approached the source of the trouble very nearly, 
but failed to put his finger on the exact spot. The 
difficulty was, not that one man commanded the 
troops and another the police, but that there were 
two authorities in Ireland, the civil and the 
military, and that their opinions frequently clashed. 
Indeed, the cleavage began even higher. In the 
Cabinet itself there was no unanimity as to the 
measures to be taken to meet the conditions in 
Ireland, and as a result the policy of the Cabinet 
itself fluctuated, leaning alternately to coercion 
and conciliation. This vacillation was naturally 


reflected in the ranks of those in who.-*' hands lay 
the administration of the country. Dublin Castle, 
the seat of the civil power, was staffed almost 
entirely by men who had never seen active ser\j 
and whose ideas of the conditions under which the 
Crown Forces served was academic in the extreme. 
The police forces were under the command of men 
with distinguished military records, controlling a 
comparatively small force split up into small detach- 
ment s scattered all over the country. The Army in 
Ireland was naturally part of the military forces of 
the Crown, and received the instructions of the 
Cabinet through the Secretary of State for War. 
Further, in Ireland generally the civil power was 
naturally supreme, as in the case of all countries 
nominally at peace. But the South-West had been 
proclaimed under martial law. If martial la\s 
means anything, it means the supersession of the 
civil power by the military, and the release of the 
Commander in the field from all restraint. The 
remedy of the civil government, should the Com- 
mander act in contradiction to the general policy 
laid down for his guidance, is to replace him or to 
terminate the state of martial law and resume the 
reins of government. But in Ireland martial la\v 
became little more than a name. The Commander 
was perpetually hampered in his actions by the 
nts of the civil power; the Courts were permitted 
to question and suspend the sentences imposed by 
Courts Martial convened by him. Division of 
authority caused friction and mutual suspicion 
botwoen the administrators on the civil and military 
sides resjHvtively. The police were normally 
controlled by the Chief Secretary's department, but 

78 IRELAND IN 1921. 

in the martial law area they acted under the orders 
of the Competent Military Authority. With such 
division of control, there was naturally deviation of 
policy. And the position was further complicated 
by the fact that the Chief Secretary was answerable 
to Parliament for events which took place through- 
out Ireland, although a large part of the 
country was under martial law, and therefore 
technically beyond his jurisdiction. His position 
was unenviable, and a weaker man might well have 
been overwhelmed by the unequal burden. 

But to return to the debate, which abounded in 
competent criticism of this strange policy. Colonel 
Guinness maintained that it was contrary to British 
justice that anyone should be punished unheard. 
He quoted evidence to show that the policy of official 
reprisal was costing more to the friends of England 
than to her enemies. The military authorities 
burned down a house whose value was some hundreds 
of pounds, whereupon the rebels retaliated by 
destroying the property of some unfortunate loyalist 
to the value of tens of thousands. This policy was 
driving the few friends of England left in Ireland 
into the arms of Sinn Fein. Further, it was not 
fair to put this work upon the troops. There was 
nothing more repugnant to their nature than the 
destruction of houses in cold blood. 

Lord Winterton held that if there must be 
military action in Ireland it should be short, sharp, 
and decisive. A continuance of guerilla warfare 
was intolerable, and was producing no good effect. 
The leader of the Labour Party appealed to the 
Chief Secretary to reverse his disastrous policy. 

The Chief Secretary, in his reply, endeavoured 


to deal with this critieism. He declared that in the 
martial law area there was absolute unity of 
command. This was only possible under martial 
law, and it might be necessary to extend that system 
of Government. He still hoped that the Southern 
Parliament would meet and assume responsibility 
for good government. If it did not, the Govern- 
ment would have a new situation to deal with. 
Oilk-ial reprisals were treated as most serious and 
abnormal acts. In that part of the country where 
martial law had not been proclaimed there had 
never been official reprisals. He admitted that it 

8 an open question whether reprisals were 
satisfactory in the long run. He was prepared to 
discuss the question with the Commander-in-Chief , 
and to bring before him the points raised in the 

Meanwhile the Republican campaign against 
the Forces of the Crown was becoming ever more 
intense. During the first days of the month, the 

nalties of the R.I.C. reached the appalling 

ire of fourteen killed, including two District 
Inspectors, and twelve wounded, all incurred in 
three ambushes within two days. On the last day 
of May a mine was exploded beneath a road by 
which the Hampshire Regiment were marching to 
musketry practice at Youghal, in County Cork, 
soldiers were killed and twenty-one wounded. 
Throughout Ireland the number of outrages in- 
creased. Nor were the activities of the rebels 

ifined to their own country. On the night of the 
7th, roving gangs of Sinn Fein sympathisers 
conceived the idea of venting their spite on England 
by the wholesale cutting of telegraph and telephone 

80 IRELAND IN 1921. 

wires, both in the metropolitan district and round 
Liverpool. The culminating point of the outrage 
campaign was the mining and derailment of a train 
in which a portion of the troops which had formed 
the King's escort during the opening of the 
Northern Parliament were returning to their 
stations in the South. The outrage took place on 
the 24th, at a spot where the railway passes through 
hilly and uninhabited country on the border between 
North and South. Four troopers of the 10th 
Royal Hussars were killed and twenty wounded, 
and in addition eighty horses were killed or had to 
be destroyed. It was evident that, from a military 
point of view at least, the Government's policy in 
Ireland had failed, and that it was no longer capable 
of protecting its servants from the increasing danger 
of assassination. 

Even the Ministers who had initiated the policy 
were now prepared to admit its failure. In the 
House of Lords the Lord Chancellor replied on the 
21st to a debate on Lord Donoughmore's motion 
" That this House is of the opinion that the 
situation in Ireland urgently requires that his 
Majesty's Government should determine forthwith 
what amendments they are prepared to propose, and 
authorise negotiations to be opened on such terms 
as they think calculated to terminate the present 
deadlock." His speech was a careful exposition of 
the attitude of the Government at that time, and 
the gist of it is as follows : 

" I cannot see that in any way the breakdown of our 
proposals in relation to the South would aggravate very 
seriously the situation. ... If this Bill had never 
become an Act we should have seen the same system of 
government continued in force. It is a system to which 


no I :aan can look with - ... How 

it l>e worse if for the moment our proposals are not 

pted in tin- Smith-' Not only did we anticipate I 
this fa, 1 place, hut 1 was at pains dur 

the .sec, make it plain that the 

rnment seriously entertained the apprehension of 
what has taken place. 

" The noble Marqu how we shall deal with thai 

situation. The Viceroy in the South of Ireland will ho in 
tin* JM. >it ion of a constitutional monarch. He will he 
assi^ ;-s who are described in the Act itself. 

, will' In- larTantl oi the Crown, and it would be n 

ect if they were described as members of a council 

advising th- y and holding office at the pleasure of 

the Crown. The machinery by which they will carry on 

the pve rnment of the country will not differ very 

-ably from the machinery by which it has ! 

mpted to carry out the government of the country under 
the circumstances which exist to-day. 

"It cannot he said, and ought not to be said, that the 

has failed 1 it has not in itself ameliorated the 

conditions of Irish life. The mischiefs which it found in 

Ireland were mischiefs little likely to be corrected by Act 

of Parliament. 

" In Ireland in the words of an illustrious pre- 
decessor of mine there is no longer ' a kind of war '; it 

. >mall war that is roing 1 on there. Week by week 
month by month its true character has developed, and if I 
nui- frankly I think that the history of the last 

three n ;as been the history of the failure of our 

military methods to keep pace with and to overcome the 
military methods which have been taken by our opponents. 
This leads quite clearly to the conclusion that whatever 
ctTo } required to deal with the situation in Ireland 

will }>e fort 1 --e of sacrifice it inv.> 

to the inhal ... If I am ri^ht 

s a war in which those who direct it will 

be content with nothii lian that which they have 

repeatedly I W require, namely, open independence 

and a Hepuhlic for Ireland, if that he true then it is at least 

ain that these are claims which it has i 
hern possible for this count i . and which it never 

will bfl possible for this country to concede, :nd which, 
however long the struggle lasts, this country never will 

82 IRELAND IN 1921. 

The Parliament of Southern Ireland had been 
summoned to meet on June 28th, and despite the 
change which had come over the face of affairs on 
the eve of this meeting, a change to be described in a 
subsequent chapter, it was not considered advisable 
to alter one of the * appointed days ' under the 
Act. The Council Room of the Department of 
Agriculture and Technical Instruction was chosen 
for the purpose, and the whole ceremony occupied 
but a few minutes. The only persons who obeyed 
the summons were, in the Upper House, the senators 
nominated by the Lord Lieutenant, and in the Lower 
House, the four members for Dublin University. 
The Lord Chief Justice addressed those present as 
follows : 

" Senators and members of the House of Commons of 
Southern Ireland, I have it in command from his Majesty 
to let you know that as soon as senators and a sufficient 
number of members of the House of Commons have been 
sworn, the causes of his Majesty calling this Parliament of 
Southern Ireland will be declared to you. 

1 Members of the House of Commons, You will be 
sensible that the co-operation of a larger number of 
members of your House than are present here to-day is to 
be desired for the election of a person to whom the office 
of Speaker should be entrusted. You will, however, 
choose one of your number to act as your chairman for the 
time being, and it will fall to the person so chosen to direct 
the times and manner in which the oath may be taken in 
your House. I am charged to remind you that by law the 
continuance of this Parliament is not assured unless the 
oath is taken by one-half at least of the total number of 
members of your House within fourteen days from to-day. 

:< Members of the Senate, Your presence here to-day 
testifies to the willingness of considerable and influential 
sections of the population of Southern Ireland to accept 
the powers and responsibilities of self-government. You 
will doubtless wish to ratify this acceptance and confirm 
your position as senators without delay, and the necessary 
arrangements will be made for the purpose. " 


The Lord Chief Just ire then retired from the 
House, followed by the four members of the House 
of Commons. The senators were then sworn, and 
Parliament adjourned until July i:Uh. The event 

ited no interest whatever in the city or in the 
South of Ireland. 

We must now turn to an event which, while of no 
particular significance in itseli', \sas imjx>rtant from 
the point of \ie\v of the results \shirh followed it. 
One of the first acts of the authorities as soon as the 

ent of the Sinn Fein campaign became manifest, 
the establishment of an Intelligence Service. 
A lai-Lv part of the duties of this service was to 
secure information which would lead to the capture 
of the rebel leaders, or at all events to the discovery 
of their plans. Considering the extreme difficulty 
of operating in such a country as Ireland, where 
every man's hand is against the police under any 
circumstances, and where no man dare be even 
suspected of giving information, this service per- 
formed brilliant work. Although it never succeeded 
in laying its hands upon any spectacular individual, 
tin* amount of useful information secured by it 

1 a ordinary, and it is not too much to say that by 
the middle of the year there was very little of the 
organisation or objectives of the rebels which was 
unknown to the authorities. Indeed, had the 
authorities acted more frequently upon the informa- 

ipplied to them by the Intelligence Servi 
many of the tragedies of the war period mi^ht have 
been avoided. Be this as it may, the Intelligence 

vice had been ordered not to employ their 
information to secure the arrest of certain 
individuals, amongst whom was Mr. de Valera. It 

84 IRELAND IN 1921. 

was considered better that he should remain at large, 
in order that the authorities might have the head of 
the Sinn Fein organisation with whom to treat 
should occasion arise. This order was loyally 
obeyed, despite the difficulty of trying not to see him. 
But it proved impossible to secure so distinguished 
a person from accidents. On the evening of the 
22nd, a party of the Worcestershire Regiment 
engaged in searching houses at Blackrock, near 
Dublin, stumbled upon a suspicious individual 
who, upon further investigation, proved to possess 
some incriminating documents. He was therefore 
arrested, and the party took him to the military 
barracks. Here he was for the first time recognised 
as the " President," and detained until further 
orders. He was released next day, upon the orders 
of the civil authorities, but the papers found in his 
possession were retained. 

From them may be gleaned a very good idea of 
the state of affairs as seen through Sinn Fein eyes 
during the first six months of the year. The 
position in which Mr. de Valera found himself upon 
his return from America has already been suggested, 
and the documents to be quoted below must be read 
in that light. 

Dealing first with the I.R.A. Throughout the 
whole warlike period the status of the I.R.A. had 
been a disputed point. Its operations were not 
carried out in uniform, and there was no means of 
distinguishing its members from the remainder of 
the civilian population. Further, the Dail had 
always been very chary of accepting responsibility 
for the campaign of outrage. But it was evident 
that this attitude could not be continued with the 


intrnsifiration of the I. R.A. campaign, even if this 
did net result in ojM'ii war with the British troops. 
Mr. Erskine Childers examined the matter, and 
produced as a result a thesis of some twenty pages 
on the advisability or otherwise of assuming the 
belligerent status, in the course of which he came to 
the conclusion that there was nothing to be gained 
by avoiding the responsibility of the Dail for the 
ions of the I. R.A. This suggestion appears to 
have been favourably received, for on June 22nd 
Mr. de Valera wrote as follows to the Minister of 
Defence, Mr. Cathal Hrugha, or Burgess: 

" To counter the faction move in America, which, as 

\u notice, i> heing brought to affect even Labour, and to 

on <>t the Army clear for the Bishops and 

is. 1 think that something like the enclosed draft should 
be - hy you and the two General Officers and 

published in conjunction with the Cabinet statement." 

The draft on closed runs as follows : 

- an attempt is being made by British Propa- 

gaii'i to misrepresent the Position of the 

I the KepuMir, we. the underpinned ( HHcers-in- 

Chiet', declare that the Army <>t the Republic lias but one 

alle; namely, to the elected Government of the 

'itdic \\ --ular military arm it is, by \\\ 

authority we and all subordinate officers hold our 
Commissions, and whose orders we have sworn to obey. 
(Signed T.D. Miniver of Defence. 

! I) Chief of General Staff II. (I 
T.I). Adjutant General." 

The initials ' T.I).' stand for the Erse form of 
4 Members <>i the Dail." The ' faction move ' 
rred to by Mr. de Valera in his covering letter 
I the (jiiarrel instituted by himself between the 
ions organisations of Irish- Americans, in whieh 
John Devoy, the old Fenian, was his ehief oppon* 
Mr. de Valera's draft for the " Cabinet statement 

86 IRELAND IN 1921. 

in conjunction with which the military statement 
was to be published is as follows : 

" In order to contradict in the most explicit manner 
possible the British suggestion that there is, or has been, 
a split, division or difference of opinion as regards method 
or policy between the President of the Republic and any 
members of the Cabinet, we, the entire MEMBERSHIP 
declare that the Republican policy as set forth by the 
President is our policy, and that we have not, nor have we 
had at any time, either individually or collectively, any 
difference with the President, who speaks authoritatively 
for all of us in these matters. 

" In witness whereof we append our signatures, and 
trust that this will be accepted as final by everybody, and 
that no one who professes to be our friend, whether in the 
United States or elsewhere, will continue to give comfort 
to the enemy by propagating false suggestions of rivalry 
and division. 


There is a certain pleasing finality about this 
document, which is somehow lacking in the contem- 
porary pronouncements of the British Cabinet when 
faced with similar accusations of disagreement. 

The complicity of the " President ' in the 
outrage campaign is proved beyond question by the 
fact that reports of operations by the I.R.A. were 
regularly forwarded to Mr. de Valera by the 
Minister of Defence. One of these concerns the 
ambush of a troop train at Drumcondra, on the 
outskirts of Dublin, on June 16th, in the course of 
which three soldiers were wounded, one seriously. 

The report is minuted " to President from 
M/D ' (M/D is Minister of Defence) and was 
obviously made out by the I.R.A!. officer in charge of 
the ambushing party for the information of his 
superiors. It is as follows : 


"In lum! dance with orders received tin* troop t 
was attacked th. JO a.m. at a point half way 

en Druni'-ondni Road and Botanic Road. The 
Ambu-hintf Tarty ron-i>trd of the 0/C and 11 m-n, 2 
mpson Gunners, 8 bombers, on< driver. 

ill.- l.uii m 150 yards on the 

M' lailway; from St. Joseph's Avenue to 

I'pp- >.ld. 

" The attack was opened liy liombers, two of them put 
two large grenades into two separate carriages. I cannot 
say how successful r linder of the bombers were as I 

(mid not see them all from my position. The bombers had 
a very good p<ition and should have done good work as 
the train was moving at a slow rate, approx. 12 miles an 
hour, and they bom 1 </d at 15 yards' range. 

" Of the two machine guns that were engaged, one 
failed to come into action. The reason being that the 

mat gunner turned up late, and the substitute man 
never handled a gun before and he perhaps made some 
mi-takr. Thr M< Thompson gun checked when four 
burst.- had been fired. The 50 or 60 rounds that were fired 
appeared to take good effect. I know for a fact that the 
enemy had casualties in four carriages. We suffered no 
casualties and all our men and guns returned safely. 

(Signed) 0/C Guard. 

" NOTE. -I went to Kingsbridge after the attack, 
tnree enemy ambulances arrived after 9 a.m. There was a 
lot of enemy activity so I retired. 

(Signed) 0/C Guard. 
10 i m id-day) 
h;th June, 1921." 

We may now turn from the President's connec- 
tion with the I .It. A. to the part played by him in the 
elections to the Parliament of Northern Ireland. 
On June 14th Mr. Austin Stack wrote to the 
President : 

" Memo 45 to hand. 

North Fermanagh, We cannot win eit: 

d Armagh. of these se;i 

To \vhu h Mr. de Valera adds the note : 
" N.F. and Mid. A. The only justification of co: 
short of victory would be the consideration of all the 

88 IRELAND IN 1921. 

Nationalist vote as definitely Republican. If victory 
altogether out of the question I do not think a contest 
advisable. " 

Previous to this, during the end of April and the 
beginning of May, Mr. de Valera had been in 
communication with Mr. Devlin on the subject of the 
alliance between the Nationalists and Sinn Fein. 
Mr. de Valera complains that the Nationalists are 
making no effort to secure the second preference 
votes (under the proportional representation system) 
for the Sinn Fein candidates at the forthcoming 
Northern elections. Mr. Devlin replies to this 
complaint with an assurance that the greatest 
possible efforts have been made to bring home to the 
people the necessity of giving their second preference 
votes to the Sinn Fein candidates. There was also 
an amusing correspondence between Messrs, de 
Valera, Devlin, Dillon, and Cosgrave, concerning 
the disposition of the balance of the Anti-Conscrip- 
tion Fund (a fund raised by collection during the 
war to fight any attempt of the British Government 
to introduce conscription into Ireland). It is 
suggested that it might well be used in the Northern 
Elections, and that for this purpose it should be 
divided equally between the Nationalist and the Sinn 
Fein parties. Unfortunately it was impossible to 
discover the amount of this balance, until the 
correspondents resigned themselves to the fact that 
the only man who knew anything about it was the 
Lord Mayor of Dublin, who was absent in America. 

Shortly before the date of the elections the 
President wrote to his Director of Publicity as 
follows : 

" I have been told that you intended on the eve of the 


election to puMish a report of a suj mg between 

mislead the 1 on 

day i n<l r uould the Independent and 

:<tf like 

I an is a strange rumour ufloat that an effort is to 

be made by the British Mment and its supporters to 

electors on polling <l^y U representing to them 

r a meeting between President de V., L.G. and Sir J. 

Craig* has just taken place." 

Two days later the President made the next move 
in this tortuous ami complicated policy. He wrote 
suggesting that it the paragraph had not already 
been published the Publicity Department might 
amend it by transforming it into an official 
contradiction, which might run : " The suggestion 
emanating from Belfast that President de Valera 
and Premier Lloyd George are in direct negotiation 
is without any foundation whatever. For some time 
\se have known that a rumour was afloat to the effect 
that an effort was to be made by the British Govern- 
ment and its supporters to mislead the constituents 
on polling day by representing to them, when it 

ild be too late for contradiction, that a meeting 
had actually taken place betw r een President de 
Valera, Premier Lloyd George and Sir James 


We may agree that the method suggested by the 

I 'resilient of misleading the electors was at li- 

re subtle than the original suggestion of his 
Director of Publicity. The eleetion over, the lat 
gentleman was once more brought into action. He 
ived a note from the President instructing him 
to issue a statement on the Northern elections, with 
an analysis of the voting, whieh should prove how 
the <>l>jerts of proportional representation had !< 
defeated by the tactics of the Unionists. He should 

90 IRELAND IN 1921. 

also draw attention to the intimidation practised by 
the latter party, and he must declare that the agree- 
ment between the Nationalists and Sinn Fein was 
entirely one-sided, that it entailed no compromise 
whatever of their principles on the part of Sinn 
Fein, while the consent of the Nationalists to ignore 
the Act was a distinct advance by them in the 
direction of Republicanism. Meanwhile it was 
suggested that a certain expert in proportional 
representation should be approached in order that 
he might analyse the results of the election with a 
view to showing how Sinn Fein might have improved 
its position. As the President justly says, this 
might be useful for the future. Finally we learn 
that the estimated cost of propaganda, in the shape 
of posters and pamphlets, incurred by the Sinn Fein 
party in the Northern elections was only just under 
six thousand pounds. 

A matter upon which Mr. de Valera placed great 
importance was the publicity obtained for the Sinn 
Fein cause by the interviews which he gave from 
time to time to representatives of the press. Some- 
times the words he employed became distorted, and 
then trouble arose, especially when the distortion 
took place in the Dublin papers. He writes to that 
hard worked official the Director of Publicity : 

" I think we should inform the Independent and Fr. 
that interviews which I give are always obtainable in the 
exact form in which I give them and that therefore when 
they propose to reproduce any of these interviews they 
should secure the copies from us in order that I may be 
quoted exactly. It ought to be made clear to them that the 
aim of the British is to put us in the wrong 1 position before 
the world *s opinion; that the questions which I have to 
answer are purposely defined to put us in that wrong 
position if possible. And that it is so plain that if they 


u? any at all to quote me accurately. I would like to 
l;ive a personal interview sometime with the editors of 
se newspapers. 1 ' 

Later he writes, in answer to a note received from 
his faithful henchman : 

" I cannot promise to give notice of matter that I wish 
put in the evening press. While the Publicity Department 
is one of the most important of all there are urgent mat 
from several of the otner departments to be dealt with daily 
by me. ... I should be glad if you arrange for that 
interview with the editors of Freeman and Independent 
early next week. The general tone of these papers is not 
at all what it should be." 

But interesting as are the relations between the 
President and his Director of Publicity, there are, 
to quote the President himself, urgent matters from 
several of the other departments. One of these 
matters was common to them all, and that was the 
danger of being raided by the Crown Forces. The 
disaster which overtook the Publicity Department* 
caused the issue of a circular letter to all depart- 
ments, headed " Instructions in view of raids on 

'* 1. No dominants which lead di: > the capture 

of other offices or individuals to be filed. Lists of impor 
persons in our organisation, and their addresses, obviously 
come under this head. 

" Officials should be addressed by their title in their 
departments rather than by personal name. 

" Documents coming from Army Departments to 
Civil Departments in particular must not be filed in the 
latter's offices. When communications from an Army 
Department reaches a Civil Office it should receive pri<> 
as regards attention, and be destroyed immediately when 
dealt with. 

' 2. Files should be reduced to a minimum, only 
such documents as are absolutely v tr i 

should be kept. Even in the case ot the>e. a summary in 

* See note A in Appendix. 

92 IRELAND IN 1921. 

rough code would do as well as the original documents and 
would of course be much safer. 

"3. Documents which it would be difficult to replace 
should be duplicated and the originals put away in special 
places of safety. In the case of documents vital for proof 
and evidence, it may be necessary to have photographic 
duplicates made. 

"4. In the event of an office being raided and 
material captured which would affect any other office, the 
head of the raided office is responsible for communicating 
at once full details of the capture so as to enable the offices 
affected to take counter measures. 

" In addition to the above precautions the head of each 
department is responsible for devising such schemes as 
would prevent the enemy from obtaining important infor- 
mation from the accidental capture of his offices. 

" Carelessness in this matter must be regarded as a 
very definite neglect of duty." 

The same danger of being raided made the 
meetings of the Bail somewhat difficult things to 
arrange. Mr. Collins wrote to the President on 
June 2nd : 

" I mentioned in a note to you the other day that I had 
written you a memo about Dail meetings. This was 
captured by the enemy, but of course this does not affect the 
scheme. Supposing there are 100 members available for 
meetings we could, I think, accommodate numbers up to 
51, this is one more than half, or a majority of the entire 
assembly. Then at that meeting a sufficient number of 
people would be asked to volunteer to stay away from the 
next meeting. If a sufficient number of volunteers were 
not forthcoming, then draw lots." 

Mr. O'Higgins, of the Department of Local 
Government, had another suggestion, which was 
that one-third of the members should be summoned 
in rotation. If any contentious matter arose, the 
Secretary could send out a precis of the discussion 
to all members and ask for their views. 

Complaints between various departments seem 
to have been not infrequent. Mr. Collins, as 


Minister of Finance, complains to the President of 
the way the Minister of Labour conducts his 

business : 

It seems that the depart men! works in .-.mtinuous 
fear of a r;uL Nobody ever seems to be there, and 

generally speaking, the Accountant General finds it 
imp work d<rie in ordinary time. Yester- 
day lie \\nite Hie tin- t'< 1 1- )W i I1T Iiote I 

I was at the Dept. of Labour to-day. Dirk was not 

there he was due in a quarter of an hour I waited half 

an hour and he did not turn up. On the past three 

.-ions I was there Dick was there onre. The Minister 

is never there. I think it would be well if you wrote him 

asked him to define the duties of the different members 

of the staff. If the Minister cannot attend at the office his 

rhief derk ought to be there and he should not leave 

cheques to be signed by Dick.' I am not at all satisfied 

with the way this department is being worked." 

The Minister of Labour appeared to find more 
congenial occupation in devising new methods of 
propaganda. On the 20th he wrote a long 
memorandum to the already sorely-tasked Director 
of Publicity containing a long list of suggestions. 
Pillar stones should be erected in suitable positions 
in New York, Paris, and Rome, upon which should 
be inscribed from day to day the names of convicted 
rebels executed by the British. A great deal of 
propaganda could be done from Moscow in collab< 
tion with the Turks, Egyptians, Indians, Persians 
and Russians. An anti-Ulster linen boycott should 
be started in Ameri It is pointed out that 

Belfast travellers go through the States for their 
yearly orders in July, and that 70% of the Ul 
linen trade is done with that country. A film 
censorship, ostensibly under the auspices of the 
Dublin Corporation, but actually controlled by the 
Publicity Department, should Iv started to prevent 

94 IRELAND IN 1921. 

the showing of films of " English tendencies " in 
Ireland. Any evasion of this censorship to be met 
by the destruction of operating machines. " One 
blow of a hammer will do this and damage to the 
extent of at least 100. " At the same time cinema 
propaganda should be started in America, supported 
by the production of plays showing up English 
methods. Finally, " an effort should be made to 
definitely harness country newspapers to our side/ 7 
The tendency to destruction is visible even in the 
split infinitive. On receipt of this memorandum 
the Director of Publicity must have felt what all 
who have been engaged in publicity have so often 
felt, namely, that everybody else seemed to know 
his job better than he did himself. 

The Department of Agriculture, which proclaims 
the policy of the Dail on the land question as being 
directed towards " removing the incubus of land- 
lordism ' ' and * ' putting the non-possessing class or 
the landless men in effective possession of the large 
nn tenanted ranches/' was, pending the execution 
of this policy, sorely disturbed over the question of 
giving tribute to Caesar. On the 14th, the President 
writes a note to the Minister, enclosing a letter he 
has received from Miss Barton, who suggests that 
efforts should be made to get farmers to refuse to pay 
Income Tax, and who anticipates the possibility of 
trouble in the near future owing to the fall in prices 
of agricultural produce. The Minister's reply is 

" Re Income Tax. This is a matter which in its 
general application is within the province of the Minister 
of Finance. I quite agree with Miss Barton that if a 
general movement could be set going amongst the farmers 
not to pay Income Tax, that we would hit the British in a 


">ihly nii^M be al>l- ! <>ple 

tou uho otherwise would not be sympathetic. It, 

however, would need a great deal of organisation, as some- 
tiling should I- he fears of the farmers who 

thir i mild In- sold out of house and home in order 

to rtOOYt dly, arrangements should be 

made by us to c.,llrct a portion of it at least. 

11 As regards point one I do not think there would be 

danger of excessive seizures of stock, etc., under 

judgments for non-payment, so that a guarantee of 

oizure or second payment would be an 

ve proposition. 

" As regards the second point I find it hard to venture 
an opinion. I believe if the Minister of Finance had the 
Warrant Books on which the existing collections are made 
that the organisation of the collection would be an easier 
mat 1IH9 loan. 

" There is one point on which on calm consideration I 

_rree with Miss H., although I have done it myself, 

that is when she says the Demand Note should be just put 

in a drawer. I think every farmer should pretend that he 

intended to pay, and fill up and return his income, etc., 

have his assessment brought down to as low a 

figure as possible by abatement, and then when he gets the 

id Note to pay, after putting them to all the 

trouble possible, he could proceed to light his pipe with 

the application and pay on the assessment to our Govern- 

procedure would not merely save the individual 

it by any chance his goods were seized later, but it would 

lessen the set-off in the halain sheet against any Govern- 

ment which will ultimately be allowed to function fr- 

I \\ill look more fully into the matter and bring it 

" Farmers and Labour. I am afraid we are in for a 
good deal of friction in the farming world soon. Howe 
I think we can head it off if we hrin^ into being as soon as 
possible the Fc.momic Council which we proposed to set 
up la<t \ear and which was dropped for some unaccountable 
reason. I am ! ly in touch with the Fann 

I'nion BQ as to lie i all dangers, and I will |^et in 

touch with the Ministry of Labour loo." 

One wonders \\hether the Minister realised the 
ditlirnlties surrounding the fulfilment of the under- 

taking contained in his last senten 

96 IRELAND IN 1921. 

Another of the difficulties under which the 
Government of the Dail laboured was that of com- 
munications. Perpetual complaints were made by 
the departments that their instructions took far too 
long to reach their destinations. A scheme of 
communications was therefore drawn up to meet the 
case. Three girl couriers were to be appointed, and 
seven circular routes made out, six centred upon 
Dublin and the seventh upon Cork. The couriers 
between them would make each circular journey 
twice a week, and would be met at various stations 
on their route by " distributors " who would convey 
their despatches to their destinations. To avoid 
suspicion, the couriers would be constantly changed. 
The cost of such a service is estimated at 156 per 
week, and the scheme which is dated June 13th 
concludes with the words " in view of the tightening 
up which will follow the general application of 
Martial Law some such scheme is urgent. " 

During this period the relations of Sinn Fein 
with the Catholic Bishops is interesting. The 
President's correspondence gives some side-lights 
upon this subject which are worth reproducing. 
From the beginning of the year, ever since his arrival 
in Ireland, in fact, he had been doing his utmost to 
induce the Church to recognise the Republic. On 
February 2nd he wrote to the Archbishop of 
New York, who was then in Rome, begging him to 
use his influence to prevent the Pope from making 
a pronouncement which would be detrimental to the 
Republican cause. 

A little later the Ministers of the Government 
drafted an appeal to " the Cardinal Archbishop of 
Armagh, the Archbishop of Dublin, and all the 


Most Reverend and Venerable Prelates of Ireland," 
sett, 'th the claims ot' the Republic ami as!. 

them n. .t to denounce crimes until they had heard 
an explanation from the Republican Government. 
The Minister of Home Affairs, under whose control 

!i mutters came, was ulways nervous lest the 
bishops should make some declaration which would 
tend t> alienate their flocks t'rom the Republic. On 
May 20th he sends the President an article advi^ 
a in D the Bishops and the Bail Cabi 

in order to bring about a clearer understanding 
between the heads of Church and State, explaining 
that the article has been written by " a learned 
Jesuit who is very fearful of the Bishops sayi 
something next month which may be hurtful to us." 
Four days later he calls attention to a newspaper 
euttin-j- in which is a report of the denunciation of 
the murder of policemen by Dr. Hoare. Next day 
arrives a typed letter for the President's signature, 
addressed to Cardinal Logue and the Archbishops 
and Bishops of Ireland, asking for a campaign of 
prayer a National Novena. The explana: 
accompanies it. " A Father Cahill asked me to 

-sard this document to you. Although he was not 
clear on the subject he suggested the Ministry should 

! it. I am certain that if such a document went 
to the Bishops it would be taken as an indiea' 
of weakness on our part and I am sure you will 
agree with this view." 

The President became more optimistic later. On 

June 1i)th he writes to the Publicity Department : 

"I am working- hartl to pet the Bishops to 
straight ignition to the Republic in their pronmr 

ment on Tu If any statement of tl. D at all 


98 IRELAND IN 1921. 

be construed as recognition, you should be ready on 
Tuesday to see that the newspaper headlines are : 

" Do not move in this matter until the last moment. 
A step too soon might spoil everything/' 

Typical of the President's efforts to induce the 
Bishops to recognise the Republic is his letter of the 
same date to the Most Eeverend Dr. Fogarty, Bishop 
of Killaloe, urging that the Bishops should make a 
" straight out recognition " of the facts concerning 
Ireland's cause in order to startle the world into a 
consciousness of the real issue, to hearten the people 
to continue the struggle, and to nullify the propa- 
ganda " which is almost as much Britain's right 
arm against us as her military forces." He goes 
on to say that such a pronouncement, if the present 
struggle goes on, will prevent it from degenerating 
to a squalid civil riot, and maintain it at its proper 
level in the eyes of the world in its true character 
as a " national war of liberation." 

A few words must be said as to the relations 
between Mr. de Valera and the men who represented 
Sinn Fein in America. On his return to Ireland, 
the President had charged Harry Boland, who had 
acted as his secretary during his visit to the States, 
to remain and represent him more or less unofficially. 
The representative appointed by Bail Eireann was 
Dr. McCartan, and there seems to have been a 
certain amount of ambiguity, for Boland writes to 
the President on January 13th : 

" I have not officially announced that I am here as 
representative, and think it advisable not to do so. . . . 
I have lodged three protests with the State Department and 
Embassies in the name of Pat McCartan, and will continue 
to do so." 


The rind' concern of Sinn IVin in keeping in 
i< ihh \\ith America was the provision of funds. On 
Marvh 1st the President asks Mr. James O'Mara, 
of the Ameruun Commission on Irish Independence 
for his " views about the possibility of raising a 
further loan." On March 30th, Boland writes his 
s on the subject : ' ' I am confident that if the 
Bail authorises another loan, we can put it across 
here big." On April 8th the President write 
O'Mara :- 

" You are to be the keystone of the new Arch if you 
accept the JUKI <>f Representative of the Republic in the 
U.S.A. which I hereby offer formally to you." 

On the same day he writes to Boland : 

* We have to cut down considerably our American 
establishment and expenditure. . . . We cannot afford 
even as a maximum an outlay of more than 100,000 dollars 

the maintenance of diplomatic and political side of 
U.S. service during the coming year." 

Hut O'Mara was not to be caught with the chaff 
of office. On April 25th he writes angrily to the 
President, finding fault with a cable sent by the 
hit tor to the Convention of the American Associa- 
tion for the Recognition of the Irish Republic, 
u.^Uing for a guarantee of 1,000,000 dollars yearly. 

' Your appeal now makes impossible any attempt later 
raise the 20,000,000 loan which was contem- 
plated. ... I would advise you to promptly send to 
country Miimnm> \vlm has your confidence, if such a 
-on exists; and having done so, don't constantly 
tere with his work." 

On the 30th he follow^ this up with another 

Utter in which he says: 

" Your despatches indicate your final decision to force 
through your policy which last December r the 

almost unanimous condemnation of the Irish Mission 

100 IRELAND IN 1921. 

here. ... I tender my resignation a8 the most emphatic 
protest that I can make against what must be the utter 
disruption and destruction of organised American aid/' 

We have no space in which to follow the progress 
of the quarrel between O'Mara and the President, 
entertaining as the details are. But amongst the 
President's papers was found a copy of a cable : 

" Dad once expressed a wish to be fired by cable this 
is it Kahn." 

It must be explained that Dad and Kahn 
were the code names of O'Mara and de Valera 

The President's private views upon the subject 
of spending money in America are revealed in a 
private letter to Boland, in which he says, with 
startling candour : 

" If official recognition by the U.S. Government could 
be secured I would consider any money spent in informing 
the American people of the justice of our cause and 
converting them to our side money well spent, but I do 
not believe that, except in a crisis in which America's own 
interests are involved and when it might be convenient to 
hit England through us, is there any chance of securing 
recognition. " 

This is confirmed by a sentence in a letter written 
by the President to Miss Mary MacSwiney during 
her visit to America. 

" I for one am yet to be convinced that any effort which 
we could put forward or any money we could spend upon it 
would actually secure Governmental recognition for us/* 


Throughout the first half of the year both the 
British authorities and the leaders of Sinn Fein 
\\ere ski Finishing on the extreme edge of negotiation, 
if such a phrase may be employed. Despite 
their assertions to the contrary, both parties were 
pessimistic as to the results to be obtained by a 

tinuance of hostilities. It was perfectly obvious 
that in the end the British must succeed in crushing 
the rebels, that without outside intervention Ireland 
had no chance of withstanding much longer the 

es which could be arrayed against her. Sinn 
IV in was fared by a constant depletion of the 
I.Ix.A. as a result of casualties sustained and of 
ninent. The intensification of the outrage 
campaign in May and June was in reality a last 
desperate effort. Every day the problem of organi- 

lon and supply was becoming more difficult, and 
with the threatened extension of Martial Law to 
tin* whole country the end of armed resistance was 
in sii^ht. Protracted guerilla warfare mi^ht 
kit the ultimate defeat of the I.R.A. in that 
warfare was a foregone conclusion. Even the rank 
and tile had tvunin to suspect this fact; the leaders 
had used it by the beginning of the year. 

102 IRELAND IN 1921. 

On the other hand, the British Government was 
equally averse to the continuance of strife. A 
settlement reached by force of arms would be 
temporary only, and would leave behind it a legacy 
of bitterness which would flame up into rebellion 
once more upon the first favourable opportunity. 
Apart from this, the expense of a war in Ireland 
would be far greater than the country should rightly 
be called upon to bear. Moreover, the suppression 
of rebellion is synonymous with coercion, and 
coercion is an ugly word at a time when the phrase 
of the moment is the right of small nations to 
self-determination. The enemies of England had 
already done their best to use the Irish situation as 
a means of blackening the face of the nation ; it was 
more than probable that the sympathy of America 
and Europe would be given to the cause of Sinn 
Fein should open war be declared. Finally, the past 
had already given some indication of the terrible 
bloodshed that such a course would entail. 

The attitude of the British Government was 
simple and frequently expressed. The Prime 
Minister was prepared to meet any one who could 
speak on behalf of the majority of the Irish nation, 
in fact with the leaders of Sinn Fein. But at the 
same time whoever accepted this invitation must 
realise that there could be no discussion on the lines 
of the establishment of an Irish Republic. The 
Government of Ireland Act had failed to find a 
solution, so much was tacitly admitted. It remained 
to find an alternative which would be acceptable to 
the majority in Ireland and at the same time would 
be compatible with the duties of the Government 
towards the Crown, the Empire, and Ulster. 


att i tude of Sinn Fein was not so clear. The 
lenders of that party had not yet abandoned the hope 
thatsomehou tin- Republic nn^ht be retained. To the 
word Republic they were pledged; their supporters 
throughout the world looked to them to establish the 
Republic in fact as well as in theory. The actual 
form of this Republic they might be prepared to 
compromise upon. They dallied with Erskine 
Childers' "Neutral Irish Republic within the 
Kinpire," de Valera himself had brought much 
critieism about his head while still in America by 
discussing " Cuban Independence." Their efforts, 
therefore, were at first devoted to securing some 
intervention which should induce the British 
Government to abandon its declared attitude and to 
enter into negotiation upon some scheme of whirh 
the completion would exhibit Ireland to the world 
in some form which Sinn Fein could plausibly 
declare to be Republican. 

These are the general principles which underlay 
the " peace moves " of the early months of the year. 
At first sight the gulf between the two parties 

led insurmountable. Before any advance could 
be made, some intermediary between the Govern 
ment and Sinn Fein must be found who should make 
him.self familiar with the limits of concession fixed 
by either side and who should then set to work to 
st retell those limits until they met at some one point 
upon whieh a meeting between representatives could 
be founded. The first essential to a settlement by 
agreement was surh a meeting; the difficulty was to 
induce either side to agree to a meeting under 
conditions whieh the other would accept. 

Many men, both of English and Irish descent, 

104 IRELAND IN 1921. 

earnestly desiring to end the struggle between the 
two countries, offered themselves in the role of 
intermediary, but all found themselves unable to 
reconcile the divergent aspirations of the two 
parties. But it must not be supposed that either 
the Government or the Eepublicans relied only upon 
the chance of independent men hitting upon some 
means of " building a bridge," to use the Prime 
Minister's simile. Both sides from time to time 
flew their own kites, into the higher or lower regions 
of the atmosphere as the tendency of the moment 
seemed to warrant. But all the time there was a 
subtler influence at work, and one which in the end 
achieved the desired result. 

From the time of his first appointment, in 
the early days of Sir Hamar Greenwood's Chief 
Secretaryship, the Assistant Under Secretary, Mr. 
A. W. Cope, had believed in the possibility of peace 
by negotiation, and had set himself to achieve this 
end. Mr. Cope was a Civil Servant who had proved 
his ability in the Customs and Excise and as Second 
Secretary to the Ministry of Pensions. Whatever 
criticism may have been directed against him during 
his tenure of office at Dublin Castle, there can be no 
doubt that he threw himself with his whole heart and 
soul into the task of bringing peace to Ireland, and 
persisted in his efforts, even at the risk of 
jeopardising his career, at a time when things 
seemed hopeless and the opinion of his superiors 
was against him. Such mistakes as he made were 
the mistakes of a strong character, and were due to 
his concentration upon a single end, making it 
difficult for him to appreciate the points of view of 
other people. This tendency undoubtedly caused 


friction between him and the other authorities 
existing in Ireland at the time, which might perhaps 
have been avoided by a man of greater taot< As a 
consequence, he was accused of favouring the cause 
of Sinn Fein to the detriment of the interests of the 
( r< >\\ n Forces and of Ulster. But whatever opinion 
i nay be held as to the details of the Truce of July, a 
Truce which it may safely be said would never have 
been reached but for his efforts, there can be no 
denial of the fact that Mr. Cope's success in 
establishing relations with the leaders of Sinn Fein 
at a time when the Government which he represented 
was engaged in a policy of repression of that party 

I a diplomatic feat of a very high order.* 

Mr. Cope's method was to get into personal 
relation, very often at considerable risk to himself, 
\\ith such of the leading men of the Sinn Fein 
movement as might show any signs of listening to 
reason. Throughout the whole of the year, this 
link, frail as it might seem, and often on the point 
of breaking under the stress of passion aroused by 

tits in England or Ireland, existed between the 

Government and its opponents. And it was the 

e of this link, with the influence which could 

be exerted through such a means of communication, 

that decided the Cabinet, at the very time when the 

methods of combating Sinn Fein by a concentration 

Acre under discussion, to make one last 

effort in the di !i of negotiation. 

But before the tinal at ions are discussed, 

it will l>e useful to i:ive a short account of the 
attempts made from time to time to find some K 
of discussion through the efforts of an intermediary. 

* Note B in Appendix. 

106 IRELAND IN 1921. 

The transactions entered into by Father 'Flanagan 
and Archbishop Clune belong to the previous year, 
and the Prime Minister's explanation of their 
failure has been already stated. But this failure 
was no deterrent to others who believed that the 
problem was not incapable of solution. On January 
3rd, two motions in favour of a truce were placed 
upon the agenda paper of the Dublin Corporation 
by Unionist members of that body. They were 
defeated by the Sinn Fein majority, who refused to 
allow discussion upon the point. Some days 
later, it was believed that the Dail showed a 
tendency towards willingness to institute negotia- 
tions towards a truce, but if this tendency ever 
existed, which is extremely doubtful at that time, 
it bore no fruit. The Government on its part once 
again made it clear that it was willing and anxious 
to treat with anybody who could, in the phrase of 
the moment, " deliver the goods," by which was 
meant anyone who could guarantee that any agree- 
ment reached by him would be observed by the Sinn 
Fein leaders. The only conditions laid down were 
that the Government's limits of concession, which 
stopped short of independence, must be accepted as 
a condition precedent to a conference. Further 
than that, the Government undertook to give safe 
conducts to any accredited negotiators who had not 
placed themselves beyond the pale by criminal action, 
and if necessary to give notice in advance of such 
names as were included in this prohibition. 

In reply to this, Mr. de Valera issued an inspired 
statement through the medium of the Freeman's 
Journal, in which he maintained that any peace 
move must have for its basis the recognition by the 


Government that Ireland was an independent 
nation, and that \\hen the representatives of the 
English nation werv prepared to meet the repre- 
sentatives of the Irish nation on an equal footing, 
peace talk \vmild be possible. He denied that Sinn 
Fein was making any overtures for peace, but stated 
on behalf of the movement that he would not turn 
a deaf ear to proposals from the British Government 
if they had as their basis these conditions. 

For the next three months little more was heard 
of peace. Various organisations and individuals 
made strenuous efforts to cause one party or the other 
t<> modify its standpoint, or to induce the Bail to 
allow a referendum of the people to be held upon the 
subject. At the end of March Cardinal Logue was 
approached by a deputation of Southern Unionists 
with a view to his using his influence to open 
negotiations between the Cabinet and the Bail. A 
fortnight later Mr. James Brady, a member of the 
Bublin Chamber of Commerce, made an attempt to 
approach the problem from the point of view of the 
business men of Ireland, whose interest in securing 
peace was naturally greater than that of any other 
section of the community. He prepared a requisition 
to the President of the Chamber in the following 
terms : 

r, We, the undersigned members of the Chaml- 
hereby request you to summon a special meeting- of the 
( 'h amber to consider and do, or cause or direct all necessary 
acts to be done upon or in relation to the following 
resolution: That in the best interests of Ireland and the 
lives and fortunes of her people it is necessary for th'>>, 
who control the agricultural, industrial, and trading 1 
interests to assist and co-oj n endeavouring to 

terminate the existing industrial and political turmoil, 
and take an active part in reference to future methods of 

108 IRELAND IN 1921. 

Irish government and Irish legislation; that with this 
object the Council of this Chamber be requested forthwith 
to convene a conference consisting of delegates from the 
various Chambers of Commerce in Ireland, the Irish Labour 
Party and Trade Union Congress, and the elected repre- 
sentatives of all Irish political parties, with a view to 
formulating an agreed scheme of Irish self-government 
suitable to the dignity and aspirations of the nation." 

Unfortunately nothing came of this scheme; the 
power of Sinn Fein was more than sufficient to crush 
it at its birth. 

But towards the end of April was published the 
most sensational story of negotiation which had 
hitherto appeared. On the 21st of the month Lord 
Derby left England for Ireland, stayed one day 
there, and returned to London that night. On his 
return he paid a visit to the Prime Minister, who 
was then staying at Lympne. These events were 
sufficient to cause a strong impression that he had 
been sent on a special peace mission by the Govern- 
ment, and that negotiations were actually in 
progress. As a matter of fact, the proposed visit 
was unknown to the majority of the Cabinet, 
although it was probably communicated to some at 
least of the Sinn Fein leaders. A note was found 
later in Mr. de Valera's handwriting: " If 
Mr. comes over I will see him. As he 

stays at the Gres. we can make arrangements." 
Considerations of date and place make it possible 
that this note refers to Lord Derby, and that " the 
Gres." means the Gresham Hotel in Sackville Street, 
where Lord Derby did actually stay. But the most 
straightforward account of his visit was given by 
Lord Derby himself, in a speech delivered at Liver- 
pool on the 25th. He said that a mountain had 


been made out of a molehill, and that he proposed to 
reduce the mountain to its proper proportion of a 
molehill. It was said that he went incognito as 
'Mr. Edwards ' That was perfectly correct. If 
he had gone in his own name he would never have 
been free from the ubiquitous reporters, and he had 
wanted to go and see for himself in Ireland and 
learn everything he could with regard to the position 
in that country. But the ubiquitous reporter would 
have prevented him. It was also said that he was 
disguised, and was supposed to have worn spectacles 
to hide his identity. Unfortunately, advancing 
years had added to them the faculty of not being able 

rrad without glasses. (At this stage Lord 
Derby put on the glasses which he had worn in 
Ireland, with the remark that "even Dr. Watson 
would probably have discovered one without any 

at strain on his imagination.") Continuing, he 
said that to say whom he saw, or repeat what was 
told him, would be an absolute breach of confidence. 
Hut he might say, with the permission of those he 

, that he had given the gist of the information 
he had gathered to the Prime Minister. Lord 
Derby then explained the origin of his visit. 

" Let me do away with a mystery caused by my vi-it 

to Lviiipne on Saturday aftenmon. 1 want you clearly to 
understand I had no mission from the ( lovernment . Some 
month or six weeks ago I told the Prime Minister 1 thought 
I would go to Irelar >ee and learn for myself the 

conditions, and he approved of it and --aid : ' When you 
come back, will you tell me what you think? ' There [fi 
extent of my mission. I want to say one thing also in 

to those whom I saw. I want it to 1 m: 

dnirle interview I had that was not 

at my own request. I a-k.-d for the interviews. Nobody 
asked to see me. I want to make that clear, for fear that 
anyone should take it that o were being made to me 

110 IRELAND IN 1921. 

to come there and act as mediator. Nothing of the kind. 
It was purely a private visit. It was undertaken for one 
reason, and one reason only, that when one sees the 
lamentable state of affairs in Ireland one feels one is 
justified in speaking of it only if one has taken every 
possible step one can to really make himself conversant 
with the subject, and to know the views of both sides and 
all sides with that intention alone I went to Ireland. . . . 
I tell you perfectly candidly it may not be the last of the 
visits I shall pay, but I equally tell you, none of those 
visits will be taken except on my own initiative. They will 
not be a mission from the Government or at the invitation 
of anyone on the other side who might wish me to act as 

Meanwhile the Irish Dominion League, a society 
formed under the distinguished presidentship of 
Sir Horace Plunkett, a man whose constructive work 
for Ireland has brought her greater benefit than she 
has ever gained from her political leaders, had 
drawn up a memorial for submission to the Prime 
Minister. This memorial contained a scheme of 
which the principal points were as follows : The 
Government should make a firm offer of Dominion 
status for Ireland. Ulstermen should then be 
asked, without abandoning the powers and privileges 
secured to them under the Government of Ireland 
Act, to join with their fellow-countrymen in an 
assembly with the aim of keeping Ireland 
contentedly in the Empire. On the other hand, 
those entitled to speak for the majority of the Irish 
people, in other words the Sinn Fein leaders, should 
be asked to abandon separation for the sake of 
securing Irish unity. The offer of the Government 
should be subject to only two conditions, that an 
agreement should be reached between Great Britain 
and Ireland in regard to Defence and Foreign 
relations, and that Ulster should not be compelled 


to accept such form c ' iiment should she prefer 

the position given her l>\ the Act. 

The scheme provided that it the two parties 
agreed to meet, the Government should facilitate the 
meeting of the present elected representatives from 
the South, in other \snnls the Bail, so that they 
i-ould appoint delegates to meet the Government and 
arrange a cessation of hostilities. The elections 
\shirh were to take place under the Act should 
then take place on the understanding that the 
members elected for North and South should 
immediately meet as a Constituent Assembly, with- 
out the necessity of taking their seats in either 
Parliament. It would be open to the Northern 
members at any time to declare by a majority that 
they preferred to abide by the Act, in which event 
the Southern members might adopt or reject 
Dominion status for the South. 

The Constituent Assembly scheme, as it was 
called, attracted considerable attention at the time, 
and was favourably received by the majority of 
Englishmen. The opinion of the Sinn Fein leaders 
is best shown by the fact that it was considered in 
the Bail, which agreed to consent to it on the 
following conditions : 

' 1. That the members of the proposed assembly be 
chosen by the Irish eleetorate in an open and free election, 
in which all political opinions might be advocated. 

2. That there be no limitations or restrictions, su<-h 
as inclusion within the British Empire, etc., to the sei 
ment that might be proposed. 

3. That all members before election and on entering 
the assembly pleoV. i and those they represent 
to accept and support unreservedly whatever decision 
arrived at by a majority v<> 

4. That the British Parliament should by Act 

112 IRELAND IN 1921. 

in advance, and in anticipation, make this decision 
automatically legal and binding- on Britain." 

It need hardly be pointed out that an 
Assembly meeting under these conditions would 
have established a Republic for the whole of Ireland 
at its first session. 

During May the Prime Minister met a 
distinguished American citizen, Mr. Martin Glynn, 
ex-Governor of the State of New York, and in the 
course of conversation explained the position of the 
Government, so frequently reiterated, regarding the 
willingness of the Prime Minister to meet and 
discuss the Irish situation with anyone who could 
speak with authority. Mr. Glynn conveyed the 
essence of this conversation to Mr. de Valera, 
through the London correspondent of the New 
York Herald, who in the course of an interview with 
Mr. de Valera obtained the following reply : 

* If Mr. Lloyd George makes this statement in public 
I shall give him a public reply. The fundamental question 
at issue between the two countries is the question of 
Ireland's right to choose freely and independently her 
own government and political institutions at home and 
her relationships with foreign nations as well. This 
independent right may as well be acknowledged first as last, 
for there can never be a settlement as long as it is denied. 
Any particular proposition put forward by Britain 
affecting the welfare of the peoples of the two islands will 
then be a fit subject for consideration and discussion 
between the representatives of the respective peoples. We 
have never denied that we have certain interests in common, 
but we must be free and independent judges of what our 
own interests are, and not compelled simply by Britain's 
superior brute force to enter into engagements which we 
may deem to be detrimental to us." 

Towards the end of May the Pope, in sending a 
donation to Cardinal Logue towards the relief of 


distress in Ireland, included a letter in which he 
dealt \\ith the state of the country. This letter 
concluded : 

" We think it \\nuld be opportune if effect were given to 
the plan ingested by li-t inguished men as well as 

lr*! { - say, that the question at issue 

IK- ! '-u^sion to some body of men 

by the whole Irish nation. And when this 
:'orence has published its findings let the more influent in! 
amon^ both parties meet together, anl having put forward 
discussed the views and conclusions arrived at on both 
sides, let them determine by common consent on some means 
of h> the question in a sincere spirit of peace and 


We may now turn to a more detailed examination 
of the efforts to secure such intervention as would 
induce the Government to open negotiations on the 
basis of the establishment of an Irish Republic. 
That some intervention of the kind was becoming 
urgent is obvious from Mr. de Valera's attitude as 
early as February. At that time his supporters 

v taking the line that the Dail could not consider 
negotiation with the British Government on any 
other basis but the immediate proclamation of a 
Republ nu r to the fact that the Irish people 

had at the last elections given it a mandate to secure 
a Republic or die in the attempt. Mr. de Valera 
was sutlieieiitly awake to political realities to see 
the danuvr of this argument. On February 28th he 
v to Harry Boland in America : 

"There is no use in saying that Dail Eireann cannot 

negotia' : nf the mandate which it. that 

1.1. .yd (Jenru-e will be put in a pOtttlO] 

being- able i an Irish party into existence to oppose 

elections on the platform of freed- .m to 

This is a most instructive admission. It 

114 IRELAND IN 1921. 

shows that Mr. de Valera, at least, still feared 
the resurrection of the old Nationalist or 
" Parliamentary " Party which had apparently 
been overwhelmed for ever at the elections of 1918. 
It was well known to him even then, despite his 
public declarations that Ireland unanimously 
supported Sinn Fein, that there was a very large 
section of the country which was sick of bloodshed 
and was longing for the large measures of Home 
Rule conferred by the Government of Ireland Act. 
Once the menace of the I.R.A. was removed, an 
election fought upon the issue of resistance or 
negotiation would spell the downfall of Sinn Fein. 
As it happened, the issue at the elections of 1921 
was never so put, and the vigilance of the I.R.A. 
was sufficient to avert the danger of opposition. 

Some weeks later, Mr. de Valera complained of 
the methods used by certain would-be intermediaries. 
He writes : 

" As lie was leaving for the country Father O'Flanagan 
sent me a note to the effect that a British official wished to 
find out from me whether if certain propositions were 
submitted in writing we would accept them. I am refusing 
to deal with the matter in this way. I want to see 
definitely in writing what they propose before I commit 
myself to any answer. The disadvantages to us of the mode 
they are trying to proceed on are obvious." 

Early in the year, the leaders of Sinn Fein had 
decided that some small hope of securing the inter- 
vention upon which they had set their hearts lay in 
an appeal to the Dominion Premiers about to 
assemble for the Imperial Conference. Of these 
Premiers, General Smuts seemed the most likely to 
lend a favourable ear to their proposals, despite the 
reports they received from their agents in South 


Afrira. The general tone of these reports was that 
in Fein had link* to hope for from Smuts, who, 
although not unsympat lietic, had already turned his 
back on Republicanism in his own country, and was 
tluTrt'niv unlikely to advocate it for Ireland. Despite 
this cxtivmrly sane warning, the President deter- 
mined to concentrate his efforts on winning Smuts 
over to his own peculiar views, and left no stone 
unturned to that end. Hut at the same time the 
question arose as to the best way of influencing the 
Premiers in a body. The fir :estion was that a 

letter should be despatched to each individual, 
setting forth the justice of Ireland's demands. 
This letter, which, although never despatched, is 
interesting, was drafted as follows : 

.e Premier of 

As one profoundly convinced that much of man's 
inhumanity to man has its origin in misunderstanding 1 and 
ignorance on the one hand and the pride that suspends the 
dispel it on the other I address myself to you. I 
feel it easier to do so believing that though a war is b 
waged upon our nation by the British Government in the 
10 of the whole British Empire it is being waged in 
;ince of rather than by the desire of the people whom 

Nowhere has the repudiation of embarrassing external 
ml been more strenuous and persistent than among 
tin- nations within the British Empire. To the point of 
rebellion and open war all MK h emit ml has been conte 
and all attempts to exercise it have long ceased. The 
Britiih Dominion! have won the acknowledgment of their 
claims as c states with Great Britain in an 

association founded on common interest and common 
intent, on confidence, not on compulsion. It would be 
IndetGriWbly selfish and altogether unworthy of any of 
them, at \ with their own traditions and the 

principles which they ; v to 

deny to Ireland that right to freedom upon which alone 
the ordered and peaceful development of peoples can rest. 

116 IRELAND IN 1921. 

I do not therefore suppose such a desire, but the fact is 
that in your name an attitude is adopted and a cruel war is 
in progress in a flagrant infraction of that principle which 
is the foundation of your own progress, security and 
happiness. Here in Ireland the principle of resistance to 
tyranny is enshrined in the Republican Army which I have 
the honour to represent. Our Parliament and Government 
derive their validity from free popular choice expressed by 
overwhelming majorities in three national plebiscites 
within the space of two years, wherein in spite of penalties 
and supervision which grew constantly heavier the great 
mass of our people gave that authority their allegiance. 

Our chosen institutions are valid by every function 
which you claim for yourself. What we are defending 
with our life's blood is the same freedom that your people 
would defend with theirs. Irrespective of their births and 
race your fellow countrymen would resist a British tyranny 
with as much spirit and tenacity as a foreign conquest. 
We expect that you apply to us the same sentiments you 
would choose in your own case, and that you remember 
that we are not a modern but an ancient nation with a 
distinct origin, history and culture, clearly defined by 
nature to bring up its own civilisation and shape its own 
destiny in freedom from the perpetual thwarting and 
coercing of alien rule. 

For the continuance of this rule sustained solely by 
superior military force no justification is put forward save 
that the strategical safety of Great Britain demands it. 

On second thoughts this draft was too much even 
for Mr. de Valera. Instead of circularising the 
Premiers, he decided to give an interview which 
should set out the same ideas and would probably 
achieve at least an equal publicity. 

An alternative method of approach to the 
Premiers was afforded by a suggestion put forward 
by the Women's International League that they 
should send a deputation. Mr. de Valera took up 
the suggestion with avidity. His note on the 
subject is as follows : 

" The Women's International League would like to 


send three or four <>t their members on a deputation to the 
miers with regard to the present British regime 

in Irvi.irnl. hut \\mild need to have their expenses franked. 
I think the publicity they would secure would be worth it." 

The matter having been approved, the President 
lost no time in issuing the necessary instructions. 
On June 13th he wrote to the Minister of Finance, 
Mr. Collins :- 

" The Secretary of the Ministry has probably sent you 
a circular letter on the proposal of the Women's Inter- 

onal League to interview the British Colonial Premiers. 

They cannot go unless we frank their expenses. I have a 

from Mrs. Skeffington that it would probably be 20 

each person. 1 think we should put 100 at their disposal. 

ould really be regarded as money on propaganda. As 
they wish to leave on Wednesday they will need the money 
at once. Mrs. Skeffmgton as Chairman could be put in 

rge and she can be reached through the Secretary of 
Sinn Fein, or better at the Irish Women's Franchise 
League, Westmorland Chambers." 

Mr. Collins, in his reply to this note, gave a hint 
of that siiner outlook on affairs in which he differed 
so markedly from the I 'resident. In acknowledging 
the receipt of these instructions, he says: 

"1 ly t<> have the i'l(H) pi 

at Mrs. Skeffington's disposal. It will properly be charged, 
I liink, as Foreign Affairs (Propaganda). It could 
scarcely IM culled Home Affairs Propaganda, but that is a 
HI had time to send you a note about the 
:ig I would not have favoured this expenditure, 
although I think we should take every opportunity 

Premiere from the Bnffliu ('"l>nirs. I am 
hat we shall get value in this particular 
ndeed that the case will be presei, 
effect ively." 

Mr. Collins was right. The Dominion Premiers 

aally refused to receive the deputation, although 
individual members of the Conference held conver 
tions with Mrs. Skeffington and her satellites. The 

118 IRELAND IN 1921. 

deputation sent each Premier a report with a cover- 
ing letter, to which General Smuts replied as 
follows : 

" The Dominion Premiers will, no doubt, when an 
opportunity presents itself, tender such advice to his 
Majesty's Government as they think fit, and in view of this 
I do not propose to meet any associations connected with 
the present political affairs in Ireland to discuss the matter. 
My views are well known, and I do not think that any 
advantage will be gained by the reception of a deputation 
at the present time/' 

For some time prior to this, however, the Sinn 
Fein leaders had been laying their plans for 
approaching General Smuts. On June 4th Mr, 
Art O'Brien, the President of the Irish Self- 
determination League, which acted as the emissaries 
of Sinn Fein in London and elsewhere, wrote to the 
President as follows : 

" I have been intending for some days past to write you 
on the subject of Smuts and the Imperial Conference. 
Smuts is due here next Saturday. Tom Casement (a 
brother of Roger) is a very intimate friend of Smuts; it 
would be possible therefore for him to introduce anyone in 
a quite friendly way to Smuts. . . ." 

The letter concludes with directions how to get 
in touch with Tom Casement. The further corres- 
pondence between Mr. de Valera and Mr. Art 
O'Brien is interesting. On the 14th, the President 
writes : 

" Imperial Conference. I think the best statement to 
give the Press is something like this, that you are not aware 
of any intention of the representatives of the Irish people 
to approach the Premiers of the self-governing Dominions, 
but that these Premiers have clearly a duty to perform to 
their peoples inasmuch as the British Government are 
making war on Ireland in the name of the whole British 

Others. Erskine Childers will strive to have an oppor- 
tunity of meeting Smuts informally. 


Note particularly. We are taking <'t or oi : 

on. The British are trying to get in t.m< -h tin >ugh 
les of course, to learn whether we would accept 
the following 1 . Thf i u-mg Smuts in the matter: 

1. Fiscal autonomy for the whole of Ireland . 

hern Parliament to be elected. 

.- liainrnt to retain its present powers 
unl- 1\ mutual agreement with the rest of 

4. Free trade D England and Ireland. 

6. No Reserve <'es. 

1'oitioi; National Debt (the amount to be 

ascertained by a Commission) to be taken over. 

The best line to pursue is to indicate that they are going 
on the wrong track, that the right way is to propose a 
treaty with Ireland regarded as a separate state. Irish 
represen .v.mld then be willing to consider making 

i in concessions to England's fears and England's 
interests, that there is no other way. ... As regards 
you see Smuts it would be in your capacity as 
President of the Self-determination League. . . ." 

This letter was followed by another two days 
later. In it occurs the passage " I think I told you 
of the Women's deputation going to protest about 
atr< The only value will be the publicity it 

receives. . . .If you see Mrs. Skeffington, 
impress this upon her. The line that should be 
taken is. that the Premiers . . . must share the 
responsibility for the acts of the Hritish Govern- 
ment in Ireland. 

Mr. Art O'Brien replied to these letters on the 
iMh in the following words: 

' The last paragraph in your letter was what I was 
most ;n hear. When I wrote you first suggest 

th;it Tom Casement should come over for the purpose of 

putting me in toiidi with SmuN I had in mind that I 
him informally as the representative of the 
IrUh K.'piiMir here. 1 n>te now that if I do see Snr 

-ee him in my capacity as an oHirer of the 
ii Self-determination League here. I note that you are 

120 IEELAND IN 1921. 

not taking any direct or official action, but that endeavours 
are being made by the English Cabinet to try and get in 
touch through intermediaries. I also note the way in 
which they intend using Smuts. ... I note that 
Erskine Childers also will strive for an opportunity of 
meeting Smuts. 

" Tom Casement has already seen Smuts a couple of 
times. He (Tom Casement) is very enthusiastic with the 
result of these chats. . . . He says Smuts speaks most 
feelingly and genuinely with regard to Ireland, and, 
according to T.C. says that he is determined to get the 
matter settled." 

This particular correspondence closes with a 
note of panic on the part of Mr. O'Brien. The 
British police were fully aware of the activities of 
the Self-determination League or, as certain wits 
called it from its habit of suddenly closing its offices 
and disappearing in alarm, the Self -extermination 
League and had no intention of leaving it in peace. 
On the 20th its President writes to Mr. de Valera : 

" It may not be possible for me to attend to any 
business for a day or two. My host and hostess have during 
the past week become very alarmed over an incident. . . . 
My work has in consequence been considerably upset. 
To-day they request me to make a move at once. I am 
therefore making a temporary move to some place where I 
may be safe for the moment, and I must then endeavour to 
mate plans for a more permanent base. ... I shall 
advise you directly I have something permanently fixed." 

Meanwhile an agent of the British Government 
had issued a solemn warning in a quarter where he 
knew its gravity would be appreciated. On the 16th 
Mr. Collins writes to the President as follows : 

" Yesterday my man interviewed . He is very 

gloomy about the situation. His story more or less is as 
follows : Southern Parliament to be summoned on the 28th 
June. Fourteen days later the Viceroy will be officially 
aware that it has not answered will then immediately 
issue the order for its dissolution. That order is already 


in print. Martial Law will thru In* proclaimed for th 
(''unties and that prnclainatinn i> al>o in print. It is to 
be of the most vigorous, and will put the Civil (' 
entirely nut <>\ cMinmi^mn. It will In- Mippnrted hy three 
times the present military strength who will operate on a 
M -lieme nl intense investment of areas, search and im 
ment. All means of tran^pnrt t'mm push bicycles up will 
be commandeered, and allue<l only on permit. He is in 
niable panic to avert the awful times. He wants to 

see you as man to man. It is quite possible that this is 

part of the -Hove, although I don't accuse him of 

oeing- aware of it. Cope I should say would be aware of it. 

^e, a measure of Martial Law for the whole of the 

Unities is not unlikely." 

The reference to Mr. Cope in this note shows how 
successful he had been in establishing a channel of 
communication between himself and the Sinn Fein 

There is no doubt that public opinion, both in 
England and Ireland, was by now far more in favour 
of negotiation than it had been at any period since 
the outbreak of the rebellion. In Ireland it was 
realised by the majority of those who knew the real 

ts of the situation that the attainment of the 
L' public by resistance to the forces of Great Britain 
was impossible. The long hoped for intervention 

B no nearer than before; the resources of 
Sinn Fein were bound to disappear before the 
threatened intensification of military repression. 
The Republicans were not yet beaten, but their 
defeat -rtain and could not long be delayed. 

It was hardly to be hoped that, once defeated, Sinn 
Fein would be offered better terms than those 
contained in the Act. On the other hand, were 
negotiations to be set on foot while Sinn Fein, in 
the shape of the Irish Republican Army, was still 
in the field, it was practically certain that any terms 

122 IRELAND IN 1921. 

could be secured, provided Ireland remained within 
the Empire, and Ulster were allowed to stand apart 
if she so desired. Allegiance and Ulster's right to 
Partition, these were the two points to which the 
Government must and did always cling. To the 
extremists it seemed that surrender on these points 
meant surrender of all those principles for which 
Sinn Fein stood. To the more moderate men, who 
remembered the aims of the movement before its 
alliance with the Irish Republican Brotherhood, it 
appeared that the establishment of a practically 
independent Ireland within the Empire was a 
sufficient realisation of their ambitions for the 

It must not be inferred that as yet there was any 
grave dissension in the Sinn Fein ranks. Differences 
of opinion there were and always had been, but 
under the pressure of coercion the Sinn Fein leaders 
had been moulded into an homogeneous whole. Each 
could be trusted loyally to carry out the policy 
decided upon by the majority; it was not until the 
Truce had removed the immediate menace of danger 
that internal differences revealed themselves in 
public dissension. 

Similarly a distinct change had come over the 
English attitude towards the Irish problem. The 
actions of Sinn Fein throughout the War and the 
rebellion of 1916 had alienated the sympathy of the 
majority of English people. Had the Government 
succeeded in crushing the rebels in a short, sharp 
campaign in 1919, there is no doubt that the country 
would have supported it. Home Rule in any form 
would once more have been relegated to the back- 
ground, and Sinn Fein would have been forgotten 


as the Fenian movement had been forgotten before. 
Hut the long drawn out struggle, wit h its hesitating 
policy and the reproaches such a policy brought in 
its train, wearied the nation, which urgently 
required peaceful conditions in which to recover 
from the exhausting effort of the War. If, as it 
appeared, coercion was impotent to end a struggle 
whieh to the majority of Englishmen seemed utterly 
purposeless, then by all means give the Irish their 
own country to govern. But let it be clearly 
understood that such an experiment must involve no 
disruption of the Empire, nor must Ulster be made 
to suffer for the sins of the South. 

For the aspirations of Sinn Fein, Englishmen as 
a whole had little sympathy. The argument that 
Ireland was a separate nation some hundreds of 
years ago and had therefore a right to revert to that 
status carried no weight. The same might be said 
of many other tracts of territory now forming parts 
of a great nation. The establishment of a republic 
would be secession, and the rights and wrongs of 
secession had already been decided. Nobody now 
believes that the secession of the Southern States of 
America would have benefited the American nation, 
however much they may admire the magnificent 
resistance those States made to a superior foi 
Nor is it held that the Federal States were guilty of 
an act of tyranny in reasserting the allegiance of the 
South by force of arms, whatever criticism may be 
made of the methods employed during the first years 
of the peace that followed. The words of Professor 
Paxson which refer to the American Civil War may 
well be applied to the struggle for the establishment 
of the Irish Republic. " Only the calm judgment 

124 IRELAND IN 1921. 

of posterity can determine which side was wrong. 
. . . Yet, after all, one side was right and one was 
wrong. Though advocates of either were frequently 
mistaken in their application of historic facts, 
though partisans of both were always more honest 
tjian informed, one side of the quarrel harmonised 
generally with the trend of human experience and 
the laws of economic and political evolution; the 
other was reactionary and as such condemned by 

From bitter controversy about the Home Rule of 
the latter part of the nineteenth century, which was 
a measure of parochialism compared with the Home 
Rule of the December Treaty, British opinion in 
1921 had approached acceptance of the principles of 
Dominion Home Rule. It seemed incredible that 
Dominion status should not satisfy the aspirations 
of all Irishmen who desired the end of the Union. 
So many races and nationalities had accepted this 
status, and had proceeded to evolve for themselves 
out of it a scheme of existence which suited the 
particular needs of development of each. Why 
could not Ireland do the same? What could she 
hope to gain as a Republic tkat she could not secure 
with greater ease and with the powerful assistance of 
the whole Empire as a Dominion of that Empire? 
Her aspirations, or rather the aspirations of 
the Republicans, seemed to the English mind 
reactionary and tending towards the decline of her 
prosperity. Which was the more likely to favour 
the development of the commerce and industries of 
a country whose greatest and most important market 
had always been, and in the nature of things must 
always be, Great Britain her establishment as a 


petty and uniinj>ortaiit state, which could be ruined 
at any moment by a change in the tariff laws of a 
country in whose affairs she would no longer have 
any voice, or her inclusion in momU'rship of Empire 
with that country? So Englishmen, and probably 
the world at large, reasoned. From every point of 

v the republican status was unsound. 

Indeed, as events proved later, the majority of 
Sinn Fein preferred a Dominion to the maintenance 
of the struggle for a Republic. Mr. de Valera's oft 
repeated claim that his party held a mandate from 
the electors for the establishment of the Irish 
Republic was utterly false. As late as June, 1921, 
he claimed this mandate as having been given him 
by the whole of Ireland, not the South alone. 
" Bail Eireann, the body for which I speak 
directly," he wrote, in reply to enquiries by a Press 
representative, " is the constitutionally elected 
Parliament of the Irish nation. This Parliament 
was set up as the result of a direct vote of the 
people at the general election of 1918 when the 
establishment of the Republic was approved by an 
overwhelming majority, barely twenty per cent, 
of the popular vote of that election favouring 
connection with England. At these elections the 
Republicans secured a total of 72 out of 101 
members, whilst at the local government elections 
held later the percentage reached 77 in the case of 
the city and urban councils, 88.14 in the case of the 
rural district councils. At the elections just now 
held, despite geremanderin^ and brazen intimida- 
tion, of the 168 members elected on the popular 
franchise, that is excluding the privilege and 
duplicate vote, 126 were pledged Republicans or 

126 IRELAND IN 1921. 

exactly 75 per cent, of the representation, while the 
Connectionists secured only 36, or slightly over 21 

The influence of the Truce in the modification of 
this claim is interesting to trace. 


The King's speech at Belfast, already quoted, 
carried the first promise of one last attempt to be 
made to end the Irish trouble by negotiation before 
the ultimate pressure was applied. The Prime 
Minister, in a message sent to their Majesties on 
their return from Ireland, took the matter a step 
further. This message was as follows : 

" I am confident that I can speak not only for the 
Government of the United Kingdom, but for the whole 
Empire, in offering your Majesty and the Queen the hearty 
congratulations of all your loyal subjects on the success 
of your visit to Belfast. We have been deeply moved by 
the devotion and enthusiasm with which you were greeted, 
and our faith in the future is strengthened by the reception 
given to your Majesty's words in inaugurating the 
Parliament of Northern Ireland. 

" None but the King could have made the personal 
appeal; none but the King could have evoked so 
instantaneous a response. No effort shall be lacking on 
the part of your Ministers to bring Northern and Southern 
Ireland together in recognition of a common Irish 
responsibility, and I trust that from now onwards a now 
spirit of forbearance and accommodation may breathe upon 
the troubled waters of the Irish question. Your Majesty 
may rest assured of the deep gratitude of your peoples for 
this new act of Royal service to their ideals and interests." 

The King's speech had been made at a most 

128 IRELAND IN 1921. 

critical moment. The Cabinet was engaged in 
considering the measures to be taken to meet the 
certain refusal of Sinn Fein to work the Act, and no 
one doubted that this refusal meant the application 
to the South of a far sterner policy than had yet 
been put into force. Mr. de Valera had just been 
submitted to the indignity of arrest, and although 
the civil authorities promptly disavowed the action 
of the military, into whose hands he had fallen, the 
incident was not likely to produce in him a more 
conciliatory frame of mind than before. But 
Dublin Castle, inspired by Mr. Cope, still insisted 
that if only one more concession were made, if only 
a conference could be proposed without restrictions, 
there was still hope of peace. One side or the other 
must modify its conditions; either Sinn Fein must 
abandon the principles it had so widely proclaimed, 
or the British Government must waive certain of 
their stipulations. Sinn Fein remained unyielding, 
but the Government believed that the prospect of 
obtaining peace in Ireland justified a reversal of its 
policy. If Paris was worth a Mass, Dublin was 
worth a recantation. On the very day following 
the King's return, the Prime Minister addressed 
the following letter to Mr. de Valera and Sir James 
Craig : 

" Sir, The British. Government are deeply anxious 
that, so far as they can assure it, the King's appeal for 
reconciliation in Ireland shall not have been made in vain. 
Rather than let another opportunity of settlement in 
Ireland to be cast aside, they feel it incumbent upon them 
to make a final appeal, in the spirit of the King's words, 
for a conference between themselves and the representatives 
of Southern and Northern Ireland. 

' I write, therefore, to convey the following- invitation 
to you as the chosen leader of the great majority in 


hern Ireland, and i l ;imes Craig, the Premi* 

Northern Ireland: 

1. .11 Id attend a conference here in London 
in - with Sir James Craig to explor 
utmost the possibility of a settlement. 

2. That you >houhl bring with you for the purpose any 
colleagues whom vou may sel 

The Government will, of course, give a safe conduct 
to all who may be chosen to participate in the conference. 

We make this invitation with a fervent desire to end 
the ruinous conflict which has for centuries divided Ireland 
and embittered the relations of the peoples of these two 
islands, who ought to live in neighbourly harmony with 
c ich other, and whose co-operation would mean so n; 
not only to the Empire but to humanity. We wish that 
no endeavour should be lacking on our part to realise the 
King's prayer, and we ask you to meet us, as we will meet 
you, in the spirit of conciliation for which his Majesty 
appealed. I am, Sir, your obedient servant, 


This was the letter to Mr. de Valera; that 
addressed to Sir James Craig was couched in 
precisely similar terms. 

The publication of this letter caused a profound 
sensation throughout the world, and much specula- 
tion was indulged in as to the reception it would 
receive from the Sinn Fein leaders. Much had been 
conceded to them . There was no longer any question 
of a * black list ' of men who had been engaged in 
criminal enterprises, and who would consequently 
not be granted safe conducts. Any colleague of Mr. 
de Yalera was to be admitted to conference with the 
British Government on equal terms. The old 
designation of murderers could no longer be applied 
to them. This was indeed recognition, in a form 
peculiarly acceptable to the extreme party among 
Mr. de Valera's followers. But, of far more 
importance even than this, there was no mention of 
the elimination of any subject of discussion at the 


130 IRELAND IN 1921. 

proposed conference. It was not postulated, as 
hitherto, that the retention of Ireland within the 
Empire must be conceded before discussion could 
take place. The Sinn Fein leaders knew well enough 
that if they insisted upon secession, the conference 
must come to nothing, but for the moment that was 
not the point. On the letter of the invitation, they 
were not violating any of their pledges to their 
followers or to Dail Eireann if they accepted. 
Against their acceptance there was only one 
argument. It must once more be repeated that the 
whole aim of Sinn Fein was the establishment not 
of a Republic merely, but of a Republic of the whole 
of Ireland. In the eyes of Sinn Fein the divisions 
of Northern and Southern Ireland did not exist, 
having been imposed by the British Government, 
whose authority it did not recognise. But acceptance 
of the terms of the Prime Minister's letter meant the 
tacit recognition of Sir James Craig as Premier of 
Northern Ireland. Would the advantages of 
acceptance outweigh the disadvantages, or, in other 
words, how far was Sinn Fein prepared to advance 
from its position in order to secure peace ? 

There could be no doubt that the issue of peace or 
war depended upon Mr. de Valera's reply to this 
letter. Nor was there any doubt that a refusal to 
attend the conference would destroy any lingering 
chance of Sinn Fein being able to secure outside 
intervention. Almost without exception the Press 
of the world acclaimed the action of the Prime 
Minister ; even in quarters sympathetic towards the 
Sinn Fein point of view it was held that this was 
more than the Southern Irish leaders could have 
dared to hope for. Refusal of the ofier would have 


meant the alienation of more friends than Sinn Fein 
could afford to lose. 

These were some of the considerations which 
faced Mr. de Valera and his colleagues. Meanwhile 
Sir James Craig had replied to the letter 
immediately upon its receipt in the following 
terms : 

" My Dear Prime Minister, I am in receipt of your 
letter of the 24th inst, conveying an invitation to a 
conference in Ixmdon at an early date, and I avail myself 
of the services of your courier to intimate that I am 
summoning 1 a meeting of my Cabinet for Tuesday, when I 
hup*' tn be able to secure the presence of all the members. 
You may rest assured no time will be lost in conveying the 
result of our deliberations. Youro sincerely, 


Following this promised meeting of the Northern 
Cabinet, a telegram was sent to Mr. Lloyd George 
by Sir James Craig containing the words " In view 
of the appeal conveyed to us by his Majesty in his 
gracious message on the opening of the Northern 
1 'arliament for peace throughout Ireland, we cannot 
refuse to accept your invitation to a conference to 
discuss how best this can be accomplished." 

This acceptance, even couched in the above terms, 

did not meet with unqualified approval in Ulster. 

I he more bitter opponents of Sinn Fein saw no 

son why they should be called upon to " shake 
hands with murderers " in a conference which had 
for its object the attainment of peace in Ireland. 
Their argument was that Ulster had done all that 
<-<>uld be expected of her by accepting the terms of 
the Act, and that the North of Ireland had no hand 
in the rebellion which was responsible for the lark 
<>f peace. It was no affair of theirs that Sinn Fein 
prosecuting a campaign of violence; the affairs 

132 IRELAND IN 1921. 

of the North had been settled by the establishment 
of the Northern Government, peace in Ireland was 
capable of attainment by similar action in the 
South, with which area they had no longer anything 
in common. They eyed the terms of the invitation 
with suspicion; why should they be called upon to 
join these negotiations, unless the British Govern- 
ment contemplated asking them to make concessions 
in order to placate Sinn Fein? The majority of 
Ulstermen were agreed upon one point at least 
beyond dispute a determination to concede nothing 
of the position Ulster had won. 

Meanwhile the British authorities had removed 
every bar to free consultation between Mr. de 
Valera and his colleagues, many of whom were at 
that time in gaol or engaged in evading the 
attentions of the police. Orders were given that 
police surveillance should cease, and facilities were 
given to Mr. de Valera to visit Mr. Griffith in 
Mountjoy prison. 

The first endeavour of the Sinn Fein leaders was 
to alter the nature of the conference in the direction 
of removing the difficulty of Ulster's recognition. 
If Mr. de Valera could appear in London as the 
representative of the Irish people, with Sir James 
Craig apparently one of his colleagues, the position 
would be entirely altered and the necessity for 
acknowledging partition averted. 

In pursuance of this policy, Mr. de Valera 
determined upon a preliminary conference in 
Dublin. On the 28th he sent the following telegram 
to Mr. Lloyd George : 

" Sir, I have received your letter, and am in 
consultation with such of the principal representatives of 


our nation as are available. We most earnestly desire to 
help in bringing 1 about a lasting peace between the peoples 
MI these two islands, but see no avenue by which it ran 
be reached if you deny Ireland essential unity and set aside 
the principle of national self-determination. Before 
replying more fully to your letter, I am seeking a 
conference with ce --presentatives of the political 

minority in this country." 

At the same time Mr. de Valera wrote to certain 
prominent Southern Unionists, including Sir James 
Craig a member for Dublin University in the 
Southern Parliament and not to be confused with 
Sir James Craig the Ulster Premier the Earl of 
Midleton, Sir Maurice Dockrell, Sir Robert Woods, 
and Mr. Andrew Jameson. His letter was as 
follows : 

" The reply which I, as spokesman for the Irish nation, 
shall make to Mr. Lloyd George will affect the lives and 
fortunes of the political minority in this island no less than 
ot the majority. Before sending that reply, there- 
fore, I would like to confer with you and to learn from you 
at first hand the views of a certain section of our people of 
you are representative. 

" J am confident that you will not refuse this service 
to In-land, and I shall await you at the Mansion House, 
Dublin, at eleven a.m. on Monday next, in the hope that 
you will find it possible to attend/' 

Mr. de Valera also sent a telegram to Sir James 
Craig, the Ulster Premier, which did not reveal his 
intentions quite so openly. It ran : 

" Can you come Dublin Monday next, eleven a.m.? 
On receipt of your reply will write you/' 

It was an astute move, but Mr. de Valera could 
have cherished any great hope that the Northern 
Premier would t'nll into the trap. By inviting the 
Unionists of both North and South to a conference, 
lie classed them as a single minority party in 
an undivided Ireland. Had the Ulster Premier 

134 IRELAND IN 1921. 

accepted his invitation, he could hardly have 
appeared at a subsequent conference in London as 
the representative of a State independent of the 
South. Of this fact he was fully aware, as his 
reply indicates : 

" Impossible for me to arrange any meeting. I Lave 
already accepted the Prime Minister's invitation to London 

But Mr. de Valera was not to be driven from 
his attitude. The world at large should have no 
doubt that he considered himself as the leader of a 
deputation representing Ireland as a whole. In a 
further telegram to the Ulster Premier he defined 
the point more fully : 

'' I greatly regret you cannot come to conference here 
Monday. Mr. Lloyd George's proposal, because of its 
complications, impossible of acceptance in its present form. 
Irish political differences ought to be adjusted, and can, I 
believe, be adjusted, on Irish soil. But it is obvious 
that, in negotiating peace with Great Britain, the Irish 
delegation ought not to be divided, but should act as unit 
on some common principle." 

The Southern Unionists accepted the invitation, 
Lord Midleton stating that he had done so " after 
consultation with his Irish colleagues and under 
pressure from other quarters/' and the meeting 
duly took place. In the absence of the Northern 
Premier it attracted comparatively little attention, 
despite the fact that it was made to appear some- 
thing of a Sinn Fein triumph. The Southern 
Unionists were treated as subjects of the Republic 
owning allegiance to the Dail, rather than as equals 
in a conference between the representatives of two 
different political ideals. The terms of the report, 
issued by the ' Publicity Department of Dail 
Eireann ' sufficiently indicate this : " The informal 


conference called by President de Valera was held 
this morning at the Mansion House. . . . The 
President was accompanied by Mr. A. Griffith, T.D. 
Views were exchanged upon the situation created by 
the British Prime Minister's proposals. . . ." 

It will be observed that the British authorities 
had carried their policy of conciliation to the extent 
of releasing from gaol certain of the leaders of Sinn 
Fein who were in their custody, including Mr. 

As a matter of fact, Mr. de Valera's invitation 
had caused considerable discontent among a section 
of the Irish people who had recently given valuable 
support to Sinn Fein. The Nationalists of the 
North felt that they represented quite as large a 
section of opinion as the Southern Unionists invited 
to the conference, a view which was probably 
correct, and that therefore they too should have been 
invited. Opinion in Ulster as a whole inclined to 
the belief that the Dublin conference had been 
adjourned for the purpose of giving time for another 
attempt to be made to induce the Northern Premier 
to attend. The Right Hon. John Andrews, the 
Ulster Minister for Home Affairs, put the Ulster 
position with characteristic bluntness. ' If de 
Valera and his people want to give Ireland peace, 
let them give her peace," he said. " It is up to 
them, not to us. In the interests of peace we have 
taken a Parliament we never wanted. We have 
functioned that Parliament. We intend to work 
it, and we intend that blessings shall flow from it 
for the benefit of the whole community under our 
control. If they want peace, why don't they do 
the same? Why don't they function their Parlia- 

136 IRELAND IN 1921. 

ment and bring it into being, and legislate with the 
same spirit of determination and loyalty and 
temperance as we propose to do? Why don't 
they bury the hatchet, and let us go forward 
constitutionally according to the law of the land, 
and make Ireland the happy, prosperous country it 
should be ? They forget that the Council of Ireland 
is there for the express purpose of bringing Irish- 
men of all opinions into one body, and I cannot for 
the life of me see what good can come of this 
conference in Dublin. I tell them to-night that 
Ulster has nothing more to give, and that Ulster is 
going to give nothing more/' 

As a matter of fact, the conference had had a 
certain result. Lord Midleton expressed his views 
in the words : " I am not unhopeful. The door is 
open, that is the great thing. There would have 
been no chance if we had not had the conference. 
There is an universal desire for peace in Ireland, 
and I was much struck by the enthusiasm of the 
Dublin crowd outside the Mansion House on 

The influence of the Southern Unionists had been 
enlisted in favour of an abatement of the activities 
of the Crown Forces. So far the Irish Republican 
Army had given no signs of improving the peace 
atmosphere by a cessation of the outrage campaign. 
The casualty lists of the early days of July were 
fully as severe as those of the preceding weeks. But 
in spite of this the Sinn Fein leaders were using 
every influence which could be brought to bear to 
induce the British authorities to suspend the counter 
measures of the military and police. It was 
essential to their purpose that the members of the 


I.R.A. should believe that any truce which mi 
be arranged was the result of their efforts in the 
held. Not that the Sinn Fein leaders used this 
argument in their suggestions directed to the 
Hritish authorities. Their contention was that a 
relaxation of the activities of the Crown Forces 
would make it easier for them to induce their 
followers to listen to those who were to preach peace 
to them. The attitude of the Irish Republican 
Army they could not guarantee. It might take 
some little time before its patriotic fervour could 
be curbed, but every endeavour would be made to 
limit their operations as much as possible. The 
Irish Hull ft In, the organ of the Propaganda 
Department of Bail Eireann, commented on the 
Dublin conference in the following terms : 

" Whatever the ultimate issue of the present movement 
for peace, the conference held at the Mansion House 

frday has remarkable interest and significance. It is 
the first to be held between the national leaders of Ireland 
and representatives of minority sections within Ireland 
since the war of independence began. The fact that the 
conference was adjourned to next Friday after an inter- 
change of views is a proof that Irishmen of hitherto widely 
divergent opinions c;m ' ontinue to deliberate upon the l 
means of showing an united front to England at this crisis." 

The Bulletin also referred to " the unvarying 
spirit of tolerance extended in Republican Ireland 
to minorities of whatever class or creed." The 
idea of tolerance conceived by the editor of the 
Bulletin appears to have been a peculiar one. The 
destruction of Loyalists' property was at that time 
at its height in the South of Ireland. On the very 
day of the conference, the house of a Deputy 
Lieutenant for County Clare was burnt to the 
ground while its occupants were held up by armed 

138 IRELAND IN 1921. 

men, and such outrages were of daily occurrence. 

On the resumption of the Dublin Conference on 
July 8th, Lord Midleton read a letter which he had 
received from the Prime Minister during the visit 
to London which he had paid between the sittings 
of the conference. This letter was as follows : 

" Dear Lord Midleton, In reference to the conversa- 
tion I had with you this morning, the Government fully 
realise that it would be impossible to conduct negotiations 
with any hope of achieving satisfactory results if there is 
bloodshed and violence in Ireland. It would disturb the 
atmosphere and make the attainment of peace difficult. 

" As soon as we hear that Mr. de Valera is prepared to 
enter into conference with the British Government and to 
give instructions to those under his control to cease from 
all acts of violence, we should give instructions to the 
troops and to the police to suspend active operations against 
those who are engaged in this unfortunate conflict. Tours 
sincerely, D. LLOYD GEOHGB." 

General Macready, the Commander-in- Chief in 
Ireland, had already been warned of this develop- 
ment of policy. He was admitted to the Mansion 
House during the second meeting of the conference, 
and joined in the deliberations. As a result, the 
following communiqu^ was issued by the Sinn Fein 
leaders at the close of the conference : 

" President de Valera informed the conference of the 
terms in which he proposed to reply to the British Prime 
Minister's invitation. At its previous session the conference 
had expressed the view that it would be impossible to 
conduct negotiations with any hope of achieving satisfactory 
results unless there was a cessation of bloodshed in Ireland. 
A letter to Lord Midleton from Mr. Lloyd George 
was read, concurring in this view, and indicating the 
willingness of the British Government to assent to a 
suspension of active operations on both sides. It is 
expected that an announcement of a truce, to take effect 
from Monday next, will be made early to-morrow." 

The terms of Mr. de Valera 's reply were as 
follows : 


" Sir, The desire you express on the part of the 

Itritish (rovernment to end tin- of conflict bet\\- 

the peoples of these tvso islands and to establish relations 
< f neighbourly harmony is the genuine desire of the people 
<>f Ireland. I ha-. ;lted with iny colleagues and 

secured the views of representatives of the minority of our 
nation in regard to tin- invitation you have sent me. In 
reply I desire to say that I am ready to meet and dis< 
with \<u on what basis such a conference as that proposed 
reasonably hope to achieve the object desired. I am, 
Sir, faithfully yours, EAMON DH VALKRA." 

The terms of the truce were finally settled at the 
British Military Headquarters at three o'clock 
on the afternoon of Saturday, July 9th. The 
negotiating parties were General Macready, Colonel 
Brind, and Mr. Cope on the British side, and 
* Commandants ' Barton and Duggan of the I.R.A. 
on the Sinn Fein side. By some curious oversight 
the terms of the truce do not appear to have been 
signed, and the versions issued by the British 
authorities and Sinn Fein differed slightly, a fact 
which caused some argument at a later date. The 
version issued by British G.H.Q. at the time was 

ollows : 

" Mr. de Valera, having 1 decided to accept the Prime 
Minister's invitation to confer with him in London, has 
issued instructions to his supporters: (a) To cease all 
attacks on Crown Forces and civilians, (D) to prohibit the 
use of arms, (c) to cease military manoeuvres of all kinds, 
(d) to abstain from interference with public or private 
property, (e) to discountenance and prevent action likely to 
cause disturbance of the peace which might necessitate 
military interference. 

In order to co-operate in providing an atmosphere in 
which peaceful discussions may be possible, the Governii- 
has directed (a) all raids and searches by military or p 
shall cease, (b) military activity shall be restricted to the 
support of the police in their normal civil duties, (c) curfew 
restrictions shall be removed, (d) the despatch of reinfo 
ments shall be suspended, (e) the police functions in 

140 IRELAND IN 1921. 

Dublin to be carried on by the Dublin Metropolitan 

In order to give the necessary time for these instruc- 
tions to reach all concerned, the date from which they shall 
come into force has been fixed at twelve noon, July llth. " 

The Sinn Fein official version expressed the 
terms as follows : 

" On behalf of the British Army it was agreed as 
follows : - 

1. No incoming troops, K.I.C., and Auxiliary Police 
and munitions except maintenance drafts. 

2. No provocative display of troops, armed or unarmed. 

3. It is understood that all provisions of this truce 
apply to the martial law area equally with the rest 
of Ireland. 

4. No pursuit of Irish officers or men, or war materials 
or military stores! 

5. No secret agents noting descriptions or movements, 
and no interference with the movement of Irish 
persons, military or civil, and no attempts to 
discover the haunts or habits of Irish officers and 
men. NOTE. This supposes the abandonment of 
curfew restrictions. 

6. No pursuit or observance of lines of communication 
or connection. 

On behalf of the Irish Army it is agreed : 

(a) Attacks on Crown Forces and civilians to cease. 
(6) No provocative displays of forces, armed or 

(c) No interference with Government or private 

(d) To discountenance and prevent any action likely 
to cause disturbance of the peace which might 
necessitate military interference." 

In a proclamation to his followers Mr. de 
Valera said : 

' In the negotiations now initiated your representatives 
will do their utmost to secure a just and peaceful 
termination of this struggle, but history, particularly our 
own history, and the character of the issue to be decided, 
are a warning against undue confidence. An unbending 
determination to endure all that may still be necessary, 


and fortitude such as you have shown in all your re< 
sufferings may be required. These alone will lead you to 
the peace you d< h<>ul<l force be resumed against our 

ready on your part once more to resist. 

Thus alone will you secure the final abandonment of force 
and the acceptance of justice and reason as arbiter." 

We must now return to an event of great 
significance which occurred on the previous Tuesday, 
July 5th. General Smuts, upon whose mediation 
the Sinn Fein leaders had placed so many hopes, 
arrived in Dublin at their invitation. Matters in 
political circles in the city were already somewhat 
easier. The Dublin Castle authorities were now in 
open communication with Sinn Fein, and there was 
no need for secrecy of the ' Mr. Edwards ' type. 
General Smuts went openly to the Mansion House, 
which had now become to all intents and purposes 
the headquarters of Mr. de Valera, and here he met 
the Sinn Fein leaders. He also met Mr. Cope and 
other representatives of the British power. That 
night he returned to London, and on the following 
morning made a report to the Prime Minister, \vlio 
immediately called a conference of Ministers to 
discuss the views he had put forward in this report. 
General Smuts' advice was all in favour of a truce, 
perceiving as he did that the only chance of 
improving the bitter feeling which had arisen as a 
consequence of the outrage campaign was a cessation 
of hostilities. The proclamation of a truce would 
be a groat point gained. Once fighting had cease. 1. 
there was reason to hope that the good sense of the 
Irish people could be trusted to ensure that it would 
not break out again on the initiative of the I.R.A., 
and the desire of the British Government for a 
settlement was sufficient guarantee that the Crown 

142 IRELAND IN 1921. 

Forces would not be put into motion again in the 
absence of fresh provocation. 

The views of General Smuts on the prospects of 
an eventual settlement were expressed in a speech he 
made to the South African community in London 
on his return from Dublin. " I looked for a moment 
at that problem/' he said, ' a problem which is 
engaging the attention not only of this country, but 
very largely of the British Empire. I am not going 
to speak to-night on that problem except to say this, 
that, in my opinion, it is a soluble problem. In 
itself it is soluble. If there were a better 
atmosphere, if we all helped to create that better 
atmosphere, if we were all actuated less by ancient 
feeling and antipathies and more by human good- 
will and the determination to wipe out what is really 
a stain on the record of the Empire, then we would 
be sure to succeed. Therefore, though not over 
sanguine, I am hopeful. " 

The influence of the Government's advisers had 
induced them to agree to a truce, but it cannot be 
denied that it was a truce of such a nature as to 
lead the rank and file of the I.E. A. to believe that it 
was their prowess and successful arms which had 
led to the cessation of hostilities. The truce tacitly 
acknowledged the belligerent status of the Irish 
Republican Army as a disciplined force entitled to 
recognition. The Sinn Fein version of the agree- 
ment was accepted as the official one, even to the 
extent of being quoted in the Weekly Summary, a 
journal published by the police authorities for the 
benefit of the force, as the authentic text. This 
document assumes the existence of the Irish Army 
as a belligerent force in the field, and refers to it as 


such. It speaks of " Irish officers and men " and 
of " lines of communication." The whole argument 
of the British authorities in the past had been that 
their opponents were rebellious civilians, who could 
not be entitled to belligerent status. This argument 
had now been abandoned for good. In the event of 
a failure of negotiations and a resumption of 
hostilities, there could no longer be any question of 
the suppression of gangs of armed rebels. The 
British military authorities would have had to face 
the prospect of open and declared war with an army 
which they had themselves recognised, with all the 
disadvantages which such a state of warfare 
entailed. That such was the case was very soon 
apparent. In order to settle disputes as to the 
proper observance of the truce, a liason system was 
evolved, by which officers of the British and Irish 
forces met on equal terms as arbiters. The people 
of England as a whole were too relieved at the 
prospect of the termination of an unhappy situation 
to pay much attention to the methods by which such 
a result had been achieved, although a minority saw 
in the proceedings a blow at the prestige of the 
British Empire. The change of policy of the 
Government had been apparently so sudden that it 
could not but appear as a surrender to the forces of 
misrule. Malcontent minorities in the Empire 
could hardly fail to profit from the lesson which 
Sinn Fein had taught them, a lesson which the 
leaders of that party lost no time in proclaiming to 
the world. Within a fortnight of the proclamation 
of the truce Mr. de Valera, addressing the people of 
Ireland, said : " We have learned one magnificent 
lesson in Ireland in the last couple of years, and that 

144 IRELAND IN 1921. 

is that it is by acts and not by talk that a nation 
will achieve its freedom/* The remark was 
perfectly true. Ireland, under leaders who advocated 
and organised an armed rebellion, had secured far 
more than she had ever dreamed of obtaining 
under leaders who confined themselves to obsolete 
constitutional methods. It was for the first time 
definitely established that force could wrest from 
the British Empire concessions that years of 
peaceful advocacy had failed to win. The god of 
expediency had won, the statesmanship of England 
had proclaimed the wisdom of settling the 
difficulties of the moment by compromise, regardless 
of the precedent set up by such an action or of its 
effect upon the future. That Sinn Fein regarded 
the truce as the first step towards a Republic, 
nobody doubted at the time and nobody has found 
cause to doubt since. But for the moment the 
truce was hailed with relief in England, the 
Morning Past, almost alone among the British Press, 
pointing out the dangers involved in it. But in 
Ulster, nearer to the heart of things, profound 
apprehensions were aroused. The Belfast News- 
letter expressed these apprehensions as follows : 
1 There are implications in the truce communication 
which are disquieting to all loyal subjects of the 
King and repulsive to all honourable men. The 
public will feel that even if a permanent peace were 
to result from this agreement it would be dearly 
purchased by the sacrifice of honour not merely the 
honour of Mr. Lloyd George and his colleagues, but 
the honour of the British nation." 

Whatever may be the verdict of history upon 
the wisdom of the change of policy, the Government 


had embarked upon it, and. rather than incur the 
reproach of further indecision, it was their duty to 
make the utmost endeavours to transform the truce 
into a permanent peace. These efforts will be 
described in subsequent chapters. For the moment 
may confine ourselves to the effect of the truce 
upon the internal situation in Southern Ireland. 
In the first place it may be stated that the letter 
of the truce was at first obeyed with commendable 
strictness on both sides. The Crown Forces, 
accustomed to discipline, continued this observance 
throughout, despite the annoyance caused by the 
policy of provocation indulged in by some of their 
late enemies. The I.R.A., on the other hand, 
probably owing to the fact that their discipline had 
never been developed beyond the most elementary 
stages, gradually became more careless in their 
interpretation of their undertakings. The follow- 
ing statement, prepared by the British Military 
Authorities, provides an excellent picture of the 
situation as it had become towards the end of 
September : 

1 Ever since the agreement which came into 
force on July llth, the Sinn Fein authorities have 
acted in a manner entirely contrary to the spirit of 
that agreement. 

They have encouraged and allowed military 

imps to be formed throughout the country. 

These \vere in the first instance for the training of 

officers of the I.R.A., who, when their training was 

ipleted, returned to their units and imparted 

ins: :i to them. 

1 In the 5th and 6th Division and Dublin 
District areas no fewer than 81 such camps have 


146 IRELAND IN 1921. 

been located ; and bombing, engineering, signal and 
musketry schools have also been formed. There is 
a military college for officers at Galtee Castle, a 
signalling school at Dromore Castle, an engineering 
training camp at Castle Magner, a school of 
musketry at Grotta, and a machine gun course has 
been held at Kinsale. Musketry practice has also 
been carried out at Ardsullagh and elsewhere. 

11 These are just a few instances, and many 
others have been reported. Drilling and manoeuvring 
are being carried out all over the country. In the 
aforementioned areas, 139 cases of drilling have been 
observed, in which a total estimated number of over 
17,000 men took part. 

' Attempts to improve recruiting continue. In 
Dunmanway, Co. Cork, both the loyal and the rebel 
population were ordered to undergo a week's 
training with the I.R.A. or submit an excuse in 
writing. The numbers which are actually seen 
drilling or manoeuvring are now very considerable, 
and as many as 800 men have been seen together on 
more than one occasion. 

* * Apart from the military effect of this training 
and organisation, which have been carried out for 
Inore than two months, the moral effect on the I.R.A. 
and on the people of the country is considerable. 
The I.R.A. are firmly convinced that they have 
' won the war.' Statements to this effect are 
constantly reported in the Press as having been 
made at Sinn Fein meetings all over Ireland; and 
in several instances in Galway, farmers have 
commiserated with the police and troops on account 
of being beaten in spite of their plucky fight against 
the ' Boys of the I.R.A.' Patrick O'Keefe, T.D., 


speaking in Cork, said " Practically alone, the 
County of Cork beat the British Army," and he 
referred to his colleague Sean Moylan " whose fame 
and bravery excelled those of the best generals in 
Europe." An T'Oglac (the official publication of 
the I.E. A.), dated August 26th, stated: " It is 
the courage, zeal and efficiency of the Irish 
Republican Army that has caused the enemy to 
abandon, at least temporarily, his campaign of 
aggression ; and that courage, zeal and efficiency will 
not be found wanting in the future, if and whenever 
it is required." The same paper in its issue of 
September 9th stated : " The work of training and 
organisation is being carried out with all the vigour 
at our disposal, and should the necessity arise 
immediately for a fresh campaign the benefit of this 
improved training should be made manifest in 
action." As a matter of fact the I.R.A. were in a 
very uncomfortable military situation at the time of 
the commencement of the truce; operations in which 
concerted action was required, such as ambushes, 
had almost wholly ceased, having been replaced 
by mean and contemptible acts, described in 
An T'Otjhw as * small jobs,' in performing which no 
risk was run, the victims being for the most part 
individuals and unarmed. The Crown Forces on 
the other hand had recently been reinforced and were 
steadily improving in their methods of dealing with 
a difficult and elusive enemy. 

' Actual proof exists that arms have been landed 

in Ireland, reliable reports having been received in 

fit'Uvn separate cases of the landing of arms, 

ineludini: Thompson sub-machine guns. An T'Oglnc 

July 'J'Jnd openly referred to the Thompson sub- 

148 IRELAND IN 1921. 

machine gun " of which a large number are now in 
the hands of the I.R.A." It is known that arms 
were landed at Arklow, Co. Wicklow, on August 
21st, and also at Liscannor Bay (Co. Clare), from 
fishing smacks; while on September 5th and 6th arms 
were landed at Bantry. In an unofficial Sinn Fein 
estimate, the number of Thompson sub-machine 
guns landed in Ireland during the month of 
September was 2,250. A consignment of Thompson 
sub-machine guns arrived at Donnemark on Septem- 
ber 5th, in a boat belonging to the Congested 
Districts Board. 

" Another marked phase of Sinn Fein activity 
during the truce has been the incessant collection of 
money throughout Ireland in order to finance the 
I.R.A. Much of this collection has been accom- 
panied by threats and intimidation. The following 
are examples of many similar incidents which have 
been reported : 

1,000 were collected in Ennis on August 
5th and 6th, the average assessment being 2/- 
in the . 

July 21st at Castlecomer the rebels 
attempted to collect subscriptions by threats. 
July 27th. A levy of I/- in the was 
imposed on all residents in Co. Wexford. 

At Kilnaleck the Rev. Father Meehan of 
Ballinarry compelled his parishioners to supply 
money and provisions to the I.R.A. in camps. 
He also levied a rate of I/- in the for the 
White Cross. 

July 27th. The Cork Examiner admitted 
rebel levies for funds. 

July 21. A family in Boyle was asked to pay 


5 by members of the I.R.A. They paid in 

The following notice was posted in Killaloe 
on September 18th : " To the people of County 
Clare. ... A levy according to what we 
think each can afford will be taken from all 
people and will be collected in due course. 
(Signed) LIDDY, Commandant/' 

In the 5th and 6th Division areas and in 
Dublin District 23 definite cases were reported 
of money having been collected by force. 
" In addition to these purely military activities 
the civil department of the Sinn Fein Government 
has been very busy instituting Courts all over the 
country. Before July llth the people were beginning 
once again to bring their cases to the ordinary 
Courts, but, since that date, by open or secret 
intimidation they have been compelled to take them 
to the Sinn Fein Courts. In a village in Co. 
Cavan the following notice was posted: " Any 
person attending English Courts as plaintiffs, 
<lrtVn<lants or witnesses will be treated as spies and 
in termers. Competent Military Authority/' and 
in a Dail Eireann Local Government Board 
circular dated 9/9/21, " Any attempt to obtain 
payment of these claims (in English Courts) will be 
resisted and punished by the elected Government of 
the j)eople." In the 5th and 6th Division areas and 
in Dublin District, from July llth to the end of 
September, 45 Sinn Fein Courts are known to have 
Ambled, and in some cases the proceedings have 
been reported in the daily Press; while many of the 
leading barristers in Dublin now practice in the 
Republican Courts. The Freeman? Journal dated 

150 IRELAND IN 1921. 

12/10/21 reported a Republican Court which opened 
in Dublin at the same time as the Peace Conference 
in Downing Street. When the magistrates had 
taken their seats the Registrar said : " I now declare 
this Court open in the name of the Irish Republic.'' 

" Several cases have occurred of the Dublin 
Metropolitan Police and Military Foot Police 
having been assaulted and kidnapped by the I.R.A. 
while attempting to carry out their duties. 

" Owing to these activities the people are 
becoming convinced that Sinn Fein is the de facto 
governing power and that the I.R.A. is what 
counts in the country rather than the Crown Forces ; 
in many districts the former have established a 
reign of terror to which Loyalists, Protestants and 
ex-soldiers submit in silence, in the hope that an 
agreement of some sort will be reached which will 
afford them adequate protection. They have no 
safety in the present state of affairs, and in the 
event of the renewal of hostilities neither their lives 
nor their property would be secure. 

' Cases of provocative action towards the Crown 
Forces have been numerous and range from the open 
carrying of arms and wearing of uniform to spitting 
at the sentries of the Crown Forces; 20 cases have 
been reported of attacks on police and soldiers. The 
police have been especially singled out for insults of 
this sort, but their discipline has been beyond all 
praise. At the same time the strain on their patience 
and temper has been almost unendurable, and the 
policy that nothing must be done to risk a break- 
down of the agreement has compelled them to 
inactivity. This has made it exceedingly difficult 
for them to carry out their proper police functions,, 


and their seemingly supine attitude has led the 
I.R.A. to more and more flagrant breaches of the 
spirit of the " truce," which, indeed, has been kept 
only in the fact that members of the Crown Forces 
have not been murdered or ambushes carried out. 

I he following are some of the attacks on the 
Crown Forces that have occurred : 

September 28th. Unarmed R.I.C. and 
Military Police were fired on in Tipperary, one 
military policeman being dangerously wounded 
and one R.I.C. stabbed with a knife. 

September 10th. R.I.C. constable knocked 
down and kicked about the head by rebels in 

July 17th. District Inspector and three 
R.I.C. constables fired on between Lahinch and 
Miltown Malbay. 

August 30th. Unarmed soldiers assaulted 
and beaten in Clonakilty. 

August 24th. Two unarmed R.I.C. con- 
stables kidnapped at Bandon. 

September 12th. Two constables kidnapped 
at Roskerry. 

September 15th. Two constables kidnapped 
at Bandon. 

September 21st. Two unarmed soldiers of 
the Gloucesters cycling near North Cork were 
fired on by rebels with rifles and revolvers. 

September 26th. Attempted murder of 

Constable Cassidy, R.I.C., at Limerick. 

' As an example of the provocation offered to the 

Crown Forces during the truce, the case occurred at 

Bandon on July 24th of a hundred rebels in lorries 

and cars stopping outside the police barracks singing 

152 IRELAND IN 1921. 

rebel songs and spitting on the sentry. In short the 
truce has been taken full advantage of by the 
I.E. A., and, to quote part of a letter from a Sinn 
Feiner, " Taking the truce as a whole it has been a 
decided gain for our side. It has given the Army 
time to breathe, it has taken some, its bravest 
officers, from the prison and almost from the grave, 
and it has allowed Dail Eireann to meet in public 
and show the world that they are capable of 
governing, not this little country of ours, but the 
greatest nations of the world." 

" A large proportion of the youth of Ireland is 
indeed utterly demoralised. They are drunk with 
the heady wine of revolt and they have now reached 
a stage when they have persuaded themselves to 
believe that they have brought England to her knees. 
There is no sign that there is any recognition by this 
class that the terms offered by the Government are 
generous, and they are insanely confident that a 
renewal of hostilities would lead to further and 
greater concessions. That this is not a mere matter 
of opinion is proved by extracts of letters written to 
and by men in internment camps. 

1. " The boys are mad for fighting and are 
full of spirits. They think they are too long 
at home. For every one man before they will 
have six now, and they think of nothing now 
only fighting. The truce only gave them an 
opportunity to get more men, more arms and 
ammunition. Machine guns will soon be as 
plentiful as pianos in Ireland." 

2. "I had a great time on the run, plenty 
of everything and in much better health than I 
am now." 


3. " The I.K.A. are now encamped all 
over the country and it would make your heart 

id t> see them. I was down Ballinamore way 
last week and I met about three dozen lorries 
of them in full uniform. They are especially 
concentrating in evacuated districts such as 
( HlTony where all the R.I.C. were wiped out. 
. . . The police courts are functioning all 
over now, and the new police force is the best 
and most effective for one thousand years. . . . 
Peace conversations are going extremely well, 
the enemy will evacuate any day and the Irish 
people are in ship-shape for taking over the 

4. " I never saw Dublin in such a happy 
state. You need not think that the opinion of 
Dublin is different from yours. Dublin, with 
the rest of Ireland, will accept nothing but a 
Republic, and if we do not get that we are 
willing to fight on for another few years. ' ' 

5. " All the boys without exception are in 
the I.R.A. (in Co. Carlow), and quite prepared 
for anything, in fact they will be disappointed 
very much if there is no more fighting to be 

In the third extract the " three dozen lorries ' 
referred to must have been commercial vehicle-, 
commandeered or stolen. Many cases of this have 
been reported. For instance : 

July 17. Country carts were commandeered 
at Newmarket by the rebels. 

July 23rd. Motor cars seized with thiv 
of violence at Cashel by John Lowney, in full 
rebel uniform. 

154 IRELAND IN 1921. 

August 18th. Two unarmed R.I.C. were 
held up and their car taken at Bandon. 

July llth (4-30 p.m.). Motor car belonging 
to William Slattery, of Bandon, was seized at 
Bishopstown and 35 /- in money also taken. 

Altogether at least 16 cases of the com- 
mandeering of transport have been known to 
have occurred. 

" While making every allowance for the fact 
that these letters were written by Sinn Feiners to 
interned Sinn Feiners to keep up their spirits, and 
are therefore couched in somewhat extravagant and 
exaggerated terms, it is clear that there are many 
among the younger generation who imagine that by 
continuing the methods of the past and by physical 
force they will obtain from H.M. Government 
practically any concession and even a recognition of 
Ireland's claim to independence. This is mainly 
due to the national temperament, which interprets 
the conciliatory attitude of H.M. Government as a 
sign of weakness. It should always be remembered 
that the Irish in some respects have a curiously 
oriental outlook, and that conciliatory methods, if 
it is not clearly understood that there is strength 
and determination behind them, may produce most 
unsatisfactory results. 

* But it must also be borne in mind that there are 
many who are in favour of acceptance of the present 
terms and are against the attitude of extreme and 
militant Sinn Fein, but who dare not say so openly. 
Occasionally, however, a letter to an internee reveals 
this. The following are examples : 

1. ' The offer far exceeded any measure 
of Home Rule, and in my humble opinion 


should be accepted. It will IK* the last chance 
Ireland will have to get control over her o\\n 
affairs. I low it hurts me to see this one chance 
being lost, but it will be. I have ever stood my 
<>und as a fervent Home Ruler and would die 
with you for it, but I cannot support anything 
that would imperil my country, so, if this entire 
separation is insisted on, I shall have to stand 
apart from you/* 

2. " I cannot understand why they won't 
make peace at once and finish the business. 
They have too good a time here and, if I don't 
make a big mistake, when some of the boys get 
back from Spike (internment camp) there will 
be some trouble and rightly too, as the ring we 
have here don't want any prisoners to be 

" Even though the present Dail Eireann w,is 
elected when the Sinn Fein policy was one of 
violence, hatred and physical force, and its members 
are therefore almost all extremists, there are 
indications that there are two parties in it. One in 
favour of peace, some form of Dominion Home Rule 
and alliance with the Roman Catholic Church, and 
the other in favour of a continuance of hostilities 
unless and until all their demands for an 
independent Republic are granted. The opinions 
held by these two parties are to a certain extent 
reflected in the letters of their supporters, and it is 
quite possible that the struggle between them would 
become intense were it not for the fact that they 
must kold together in the face of the growing danger 
which Irish Labour presents. 

" At the Irish Trades Union Congress on 

156 IRELAND IN 1921. 

August 2nd, Mr. Cathal O'Shannon declared that 
' labour was not tied to the tail of Dail Eireann, or 
to the tail of the Irish Eepublican Army, because 
they might at any moment have to fight them and get 
as clear of them as they had of the British Army/* 
This independent attitude was exhibited a month 
ago when 150 members of the Irish Transport and 
General Workers' Union, employed by the Cork 
Harbour Board, went on strike. These men, many 
of them members of the I.R.A., formed a Soviet and 
took over control of the port, defying the Dail or 
the I.R.A. to interfere. This strike ended on 
September 7th. A similar occurrence was reported 
from Bruree, Co. Limerick, on August 30th, where 
the Irish Transport and General Workers' Union 
took possession of Cleeves' Creamery Incorporated 
Stores in opposition to the Dail, and hoisted the red 
flag on it. The danger from the extreme wing of 
the Irish Labour Party is a very real one and cannot 
have escaped the attention of the Sinn Fein leaders. 
On one occasion at the end of September a man with 
a red flag was addressing a crowd at Bartlemy on 
Bolshevism, when a well-dressed stranger produced 
a revolver and informed the speaker that he was 
acting under orders from Dublin and that he must 
hand over his flag and be clear of the town in five 
minutes under penalty of being shot." 

So ends this report, which was never intended 
for publication in the form in which it stands. It 
has been given in its original words, as thereby a 
truer insight into the conditions in Ireland at the 
time and the military attitude towards them may be 
gained. Without expending any more space upon 


the subject, it may be said that the position of 
affairs from the jxiint of view of the maintenance of 
law and order grew worse rather than better towards 
the (lose of the year. By December the casualty 
list of tlu Crown Forces had again begun to grow, 
in that month two policemen being murdered and 
wounded, while two soldiers were also wounded. 
The spirit of the truce was fast losing its hold upon 
the members of the I.R.A. 


The reply of Mr. de Valera to the Prime 
Minister's invitation to a conference has already 
been quoted. But the last and most significant 
sentence must be repeated if a clear idea is to be 
obtained of the complicated negotiations which 
followed it. This sentence is as follows: " In 
reply I desire to say that I am ready to meet and 
discuss with you on what basis such a conference as 
that proposed can reasonably hope to achieve the 
object desired.'' It will be observed that Mr. de 
Valera did not accept the invitation to the 
conference as originally proposed, but merely 
expressed his willingness to meet the Prime 
Minister in order to discuss the preliminaries for 
such a conference. This being the case, there could 
be no question of the attendance of representatives 
of Ulster at the meeting between the Prime Minister 
and Mr. de Valera until the preliminaries of the 
conference had been settled. 

This point is most important. It must have been 
obvious to both sides that the main question, which 
was the matter of the retention of Ireland within 
the Empire, was the only obstacle to the holding of a 
conference, and that if some understanding on this 


matter, sufficient to allow the conference to be hold 
were reached in the preliminary discussions, the 
result of the conference itself would be a foregone 
conclusion. Whether or not the Ulster representa- 
tives attended at tli. :e would be immaterial. 
The main question would have been settled, and the 
conference would be merely a committee sitting for 
the purpose of arranging details. Mr. de Valera's 
contention would have been justified, and he would 
be in the position of having met the Prime Minister 
and negotiated with him as the sole representative of 
the whole of Ireland. 

As a matter of fact, events took place very much 
on these lines. The conference to which the Prime 
Minister invited both Sir James Craig and Mr. de 
Valera never took place, and it was natural that the 
Ulster leaders should have displayed uneasiness at 
the manner in which the " preliminary " conference 
between the Prime Minister and Mr. de Valera was 
allowed to usurp its place. They felt, what was 
indeed the truth, that Mr. de Valera had so 
manoeuvred as to exclude them from the most 
imfxirtant stage in the negotiations. 

But the Government had embarked upon its 
perilous enterprise, and no considerations of strict 
honesty could be allowed to override those of 
expediency. The Prime Minister skilfully passed 
over the qualified acceptance of Mr. de Valera, and 
replied to him as though this acceptance had K 
unconditional ' I have received your letter of 
acceptance," he telegraphed, " and shall be happy 

see you and any colleagues whom you wish to 
bring with you at Downing Street any day this 
week. Please wire date of your arrival in London. ' ' 

160 IRELAND IN 1921. 

To which Mr. de Valera replied : " Telegram 
received. I will be in London for conference on 
Thursday next." The fact that this conference 
was not the one originally proposed had already been 
lost sight of. To those who ventured to remind 
them of it, the Government replied in fair words. 
Of course both sides realised that this was only a 
preliminary, it was far better that the two main 
parties to the dispute should meet in private before 
the main question was put before a formal 
conference. No definite step would be taken in the 
absence of the Northern delegates. 

The first meeting between the Prime Minister 
and Mr. de Valera took place on July 14th, 
and lasted two and a half hours. The official 
communiqu^ issued at its close was as follows : 

" Mr. Lloyd George and Mr. de Valera met as arranged 
at 4-30 p.m. this afternoon at 10, Downing Street. They 
were alone, and the conversation lasted until 7 p.m. A 
free exchange of views took place, and relative positions 
were defined. The conversation will be resumed at 11-30 
a.m. to-morrow." 

As a result of this meeting, the Prime Minister 
telegraphed to Sir James Craig inviting him to 
London to confer with him. No mention of the 
assembly of the original conference was made in this 

It was obvious that the meeting of Mr. Lloyd 
George and Mr. de Valera had resulted in the 
expression by the latter of a point of view which 
necessitated consultation between the Prime 
Minister and the Ulster leader, and that this point 
of view prohibited this consultation taking place 
at a full conference. As a matter of fact, the 
expression of Mr. de Valera's views made it 


perfectly plain that he would not consent to such a 
conference. If an offer were to come from England, 
that offer must be addressed to him alone, in order 
that ht. as {.resident of the Bail, might refer it to 
that body for consideration. The fiction could 
then he maintained that the offer had been made 
i relaixl as to a state independent and undivided, 
and Sinn Fein could consider it without abandon 
the position they had taken up. The Prime 
Minister, that very evening referred to the meeting 
in words which showed the effects of inoculation 
with Mr de Ynlera's pretensions. " Mr. de Valera, 
the chieftain of the vast majority of the Irish race," 
he said, " has been in conference for very nearly 
three h ;th the Prime Minister of this country, 

discussing the various methods and suggestions 
which have been put forward for a settlement of the 
long, long controversy between the Irish and the 
British people." 

A second meeting between Mr. Lloyd George and 
Mr. de Valera took place on the 15th, and v. 

ipied mainly in skirting round the difficult 
problem of the unity of Ireland. In the afternoon 
of the same day, Sir dames Craig, who had arrived 
in London in response to the Prime Minister's 
telegram, called at Downing Street, and as a result 
of the conversation he had with Mr. Lloyd Geor 
summoned the members of his Cabinet to Lond 
The utmost reticence w r as observed by all the parties 
to this triangular duel. Each felt that his 
supporters \\erv HI.MV than anxious as to the 
influences which mi^ht be brought to bear upon him, 
and this nervousness was reflected in such brief 
utteran were made by each. Mr. de Valera 


162 IRELAND IN 1921. 

was the first to declare his adherence to principle. 
On the 16th he issued a statement as follows : 

* The Press gives the impression that I have been 
making certain compromise demands. I have made no 
demand but one the only one I am entitled to make that 
the self-determination of the Irish nation be recognised. " 

On the same day a message from Sir James Craig 
was read at a Unionist meeting in Ulster. This 
message was as follows : 

" You may all rest assured that I will see to it that 
the Empire in whose cause our heroes so nobly laid down 
their lives is not weakened by any action of mine. They 
trusted us to give nothing away, and their trust will never 
be betrayed." 

On the 18th the Prime Minister again met the 
representatives of the North and of the South, in 
separate interviews. Subsequent to the former 
interview, Sir James Craig issued the following 
statement, which disposed finally of any hope of a 
full conference taking place in the immediate 
future : 

" I am returning home well satisfied with the efforts 
being made towards peace. Mr. de Valera has broken 
silence and cleared the ground by his statement to this 
morning's press that he proposes to found his claim upon 
the recognition of the right of * self -determination.' By 
an overwhelming majority at our recent election the 
constitutional method of expressing ' self-determination '- 
the people of Northern Ireland have ' determined ' their 
own Parliament, which was opened by his Most Gracious 
Majesty in person. Mr. de Valera and his colleagues have 
already admitted the right of such ' self-determination ' 
on the part of Northern Ireland by the fact that they 
themselves stood as candidates for the Northern Parliament 
and submitted their policy of ' No Partition. 1 This was 
the only issue placed before the electorate, and ' No 
Partition ' was rejected by the largest majority which, as 
far as I am aware, has ever been secured at a General 
Election in any part of the world. 

" Such being the true facts, it now merely remains for 
Mr. de Valera and the British people to come to terms 


regarding the area outside of that of which I am Prime 
ICinitter, The people of Northern Ireland, on Behalf of 
whom I speak, while claiming 1 in the most absolute way 
possible as has been done to ' determine ' their own 
fate, do not make any claim whatever to ' determine ' the 
terms of settlement which Great Britain shall make with 
Southern Ireland. 

\Vh.-n this is accomplished I can promise cordial 
[eratinn on eijual terms with Southern Ireland in any 
matters affecting our common interest. Having- reached 
the present stage, I go back to Ireland to carry on the 
practical work of government. I feel that our interests 
are ably rep 1 in the Imperial Parliament, and, of 

course, our services are available at any moment." 

With this valedictory message, Sir James Craig 
and his Cabinet left London. 

It is almost unnecessary to point out that the 
assumption contained in the first paragraph of this 

-sage was not likely to be accepted for a moment 
l.y Sinn Fein. In claiming the right of self- 
determination for Ireland as a whole, and not for 
its divisions, which divisions he did not recognise, 
Mr. de Valera had made no advance upon his 
utterances. Further, Sinn Fein had participated 
in the elections in the North under exactly the same 
conditions as it had participated in those of the 
South. Dail Eireann had agreed to the elections 
held under the provisions of the Act for the purpose 
<>i the formation of a new Dail. The elections had 
U-en, in the eyes of Sinn Fein, elections to the 

publican Parliament of the whole of Ireland, and 
had resulted in a lar^e majority for Republicanism, 
v. ith a small local minority, whose members refused 
to take the oath of allegiance to the Republic, in the 
e< unities in the North-East. By this argument, 
Ireland had expressed its determination for a 

164 IRELAND IN 1921. 

The Publicity Department of Dail Eireann, 
whose head, Mr. Desmond Fitzgerald, had joined 
Mr. de Valera 's staff in London, did not hesitate to 
reply in these terms to Sir James Craig's message. 
It also took the opportunity of declaring that the 
conference as originally suggested had not taken 
place. There had been discussions between the 
representatives of the British and Irish nations, 
that was all. The Sinn Fein official statement had 
better be quoted in full. 

' There has been no conference yet. What haa 
happened is merely this: there have been discussions at 
Downing Street between Mr. Lloyd George and President 
de Valera on the possibility of discovering a basis for a 
confeience. The basis of such a conference must be that 
Ireland is an independent nation, and as such may have an 
agreement with the British Government. It is not a 
question of Belfast being subservient to Dublin, as Sir 
James Craig has suggested, or of Dublin being subservient 
to Belfast. What it means is that both Dublin and Belfast 
must be subservient to the Irish nation. 

* The whole basis of the claim of the Irish nation ia 
the fourteen points of ex-president Wilson, and the right 
of small nations to self-determination. The Ulster Cabinet 
represents a very small minority of the Irish people, and 
we claim that that small minority has been systematically, 
wilfully, and fundamentally misled by a foreign Power. 
It has been led to believe that its actions would be 
supported by a strong foreign Power, and, in fact, it 
always has been supported by that foreign Power 
England. There may, or may not, be a conference, but 
if a conference takes place it must be on the basis of an 
independent Irish nation. 

' I cannot emphasise too strongly that there has been 
no conference yet. There have been merely discussions 
between the two sides between President de Valera as 
the representative of the Irish nation and Mr. Lloyd George 
as the head of the foreign Power. 

" We have no comment to make on Sir James Craig's 
statement. Sir James Craig is in the same position as were, 
the Southern States in America in 1861." 


On the 20th a prolonged meeting of the British 
Cabinet was held, at which Mr. Lloyd George 
secured approval of the offer he was about to make 
to Mr. de Valera on the following day. This offer, 
which was not made public for some weeks, was 
contained in the following document, which was 
entitled Proposals of the British Government for 
nit Irish Settlement } July With, 1921: 

" The ! - niment are actuated by an ear 

desire to end the unhappy divisions between Great Britain 
and Ireland, which have produced so many conflicts in the 
p.t^t, and which ha more shattered the peace and 

well-heing d at the present time. They long, with 

his Majesty the King, in the words of his gracious speech 
in Ireland last month, for a satisfactory solution of ' those 
age-long Irish problems which for generations embarrassed 
(ur inn-fathers, as they now weigh heavily upon us '; and 
-h t< d< their utnn> are that * every man of 

\\ hirth. wi he his creed and wherever be his 

home, should work in loyal co-operation with the free 
communities on which the British Empire is based.' 

" They are convinced that the Irish people may find as 
worthy and as complete an expression of their political and 
spiritual ideals within the Empire as any of the numer 
and varied nations united in allegiance to his Majes 
Throne; and they desire such a consummation, not only for 
the welfare of Great Britain, Ireland, and the Empire as 
a whole, but also for the of peace and harmony 

throughout the world. The? part of the world 

whei Mien have made their homo hut suffers from our 

-lit tmds; no part of it hut looks to this meet 
between the British (iovernment and the Irish leaders to 
id* in a new understanding honourable and 
!1 the peoples invoh . 

" Til-- tree nations which compose the British Empire 
from many races, with different hi 

In the Dominion of Canada 

ish and French have long forgotten the hitter emit! 
which divided their I In South Africa the 

.:il Kepuhlic and th have joined 

h ColoniM to make a grea* ''ing 

Union under his V. ; i people 

cannot believe that where Canada and South At: 

166 IRELAND IN 1921. 

with equal or even greater difficulties, have so signally 
succeeded, Ireland will fail ; and they are determined that, 
so far as they themselves can assure it, nothing shall hinder 
Irish statesmen from joining together to build up an Irish 
State in free and willing co-operation with the other peoples 
of the Empire. 

" Moved by these considerations, the British Govern- 
ment invite Ireland to take her place in the great 
association of free nations over which his Majesty reigns. 
As earnest of their desire to obliterate old quarrels and to 
enable Ireland to face the future with her own strength 
and hope, they propose that Ireland shall assume forthwith 
the status of a Dominion, with all the powers and privileges 
set forth in this document. By the adoption of Dominion 
status it is understood that Ireland shall enjoy complete 
autonomy in taxation and finance; that she shall maintain 
her own courts of law and judges; that she shall maintain 
her own military forces for home defence, her own 
constabulary and her own police; that she shall take over 
the Irish postal services and all matters relating thereto, 
education, land, agriculture, mines and minerals, forestry, 
housing, labour, unemployment, transport, trade, public 
health, health insurance, and the liquor traffic ; and in sum, 
that she shall exercise all those powers and privileges upon 
which the autonomy of the self-governing Dominions is 
based, subject only to the considerations set out in the 
ensuing paragraphs. Guaranteed in these liberties, which 
no foreign people can challenge without challenging the 
Empire as a whole, the Dominions hold each and severally 
by virtue of their British fellowship a standing amongst the 
nations equivalent, not merely to their individual strength, 
but to the combined power and influence of all the nations 
of the Commonwealth. That guarantee, that fellowship, 
that freedom the whole Empire looks to Ireland to accept. 

* To this settlement the British Government are 
prepared to give immediate effect upon the following 
conditions, which are, in their opinion, vital to the welfare 
and safety of both Great Britain and Ireland, forming as 
they do the heart of the Commonwealth : 

" 1. The common concern of Great Britain and 
Ireland in the defence of their interests by land and sea 
shall be mutually recognised. Great Britain lives by 
sea-borne food ; her communications depend upon the 
freedom of the great sea routes. Ireland lies at Britain's 
side across the sea-ways North and South that link her with 


the sister nations of the Empire, the markets of the world, 
ami the vital MNTOM of her food supply. In r.M-ognitior 
this fact, which nature ha> imposed and n nanship 

hange, it i> essential tliat the Royal Navy alone should 
control tin- ^eas around In-land and Great Britain, and i 
such rights and lib-rtie> -liquid be accorded to it \i\- the 
Irish State a> are essential for naval purposes in the Irish 
harbour* and (in the Irish coasts. 

In order that the movement towards the 
limitation of armaments which is now making progress in 
the world should in no way be hampered, it is stipulated 
that the Irish Territorial Force shall, within reasonable 
limits, conform in respect of numbers to the military 
establishments of the other parts of these islands. 

" 3. The position of Ireland is also of great 
importance for the air services, both military and civil. 
The I'oyal Air Force will need facilities for all purposes 
that it serves; and Ireland will form an essential link in 
the development of air routes between the British Isles and 
the North American continent. It is, therefore, stipulated 
that Great Britain shall have all necessary facilities for 
the development of defence and of communications by air. 

" 4. Great Britain hopes that Ireland will in due 
course, and of her own free will, contribute in proportion 
to her wealth to the regular naval, military, and air forces 
of the Empire. It is further assumed that voluntary 
recruitment for these forces will be permitted throughout 
Ireland, particularly for those famous Irish regim- 
which have so long and so gallantly served his Majesty in 
all parts of the world. 

" 5. While the Irish people shall enjoy complete 
autonomy in taxation and finance, it is essential to prevent 
a recurrence of ancient differences between the two inlands, 
and in particular to avert the possibility of ruinous trade 
wars. With this object in view, the British and Irish 
Governments shall agree to impose no protective duties or 
other r Df upon the flow of transport, trade, and 

commerce between all parts of these islands. 

11 G. The Irish peonle shall agree to as- 
responsibility for a share 01 the present debt of the Ti 
Kingdom and of the liability for pensions arising out of 
the (treat War, the share, in default of agreement between 
the (invernments concerned, to be determined by an 
independent arbitrator appointed from within his M 

168 IRELAND IN 1921. 

" In accordance with these principles, the British 
Government propose that the conditions of settlement 
between Great Britain and Ireland shall be embodied in 
the form of a treaty, to which effect shall in due course be 
given by the British and Irish Parliaments. They look to 
such an instrument to obliterate old conflicts forthwith, to 
clear the way for a detailed settlement in full accordance 
with Irish conditions and needs, and thus to establish a 
new and happier relation between Irish patriotism and that 
wider community of aims and interests by which the unity 
of the whole Empire is freely sustained. 

" The form in which the settlement is to take effect will 
depend upon Ireland herself. It must allow for full 
recognition of the existing powers and privileges of the 
Parliament and Government of Northern Ireland, which 
cannot be abrogated except by their own consent. For 
their part, the British Government entertain an earnest 
hope that the necessity of harmonious co-operation amongst 
Irishmen of all classes and creeds will be recognised 
throughout Ireland, and they will welcome the day when, 
by these means, unity is achieved. But no such common 
action can be secured by force. Union came in Canada by 
the free consent of the Provinces. So in Australia; so in 
South Africa. It will come in Ireland by no other way 
than consent. There can, in fact, be no settlement on 
terms involving, on the one side or the other, that bitter 
appeal to bloodshed and violence which all men of goodwill 
are longing to terminate. The British Government will 
undertake to give effect, so far as that depends on them, to 
any terms in this respect on which all Ireland unites. But 
in no conditions can they consent to any proposals which 
would kindle civil war in Ireland. Such a war would not 
touch Ireland alone, for partisans would flock to either side 
from Great Britain, the Empire, and elsewhere, with 
consequences more devastating to the welfare both of 
Ireland and the Empire than the conflict to which a truce 
has been called this month. Throughout the Empire there 
is a deep desire that the day of violence should pass, and 
that a solution should be found consonant with the highest 
ideals and interests of all parts of Ireland, which will 
enable her to co-operate as a willing partner in the British 
Commonwealth . 

" The British Government will therefore leave Irish- 
men themselves to determine by negotiations between them 
whether the new powers which the pact defines shall be 
taken over by Ireland as a whole and administered by a 


single Irish body or tak.-n over separately by Northern and 
Southern In-lund. \vnh or without a joint authority 
harmonise their common interests. They will willingly 
assist in the negotiation ot Mirh a settlement, if Irishmen 
should so de- 
li y these proposals the British Government sincerely 
U'lieve that they will have shattered the foundations of that 
ancient hatred and distrust which have disfigured our 
tor centuries past. The future of Ireland 
within the Commonwealth is for the Irish people to shape. 
" In the foregoing proposals the British Government 
have attempted no more than the broad outline of a settl*-- 
ment. The details they leave for discussion when the Irish 
people have signified their acceptance of the principle of 

Armed with this portentous document, Mr. de 
Valera returned to Ireland, there to confer with his 
colleagues. Despite official declarations to the con- 
trary, there is no doubt both from internal evidence 
and from a study of subsequent events, that the offer 
of the British Government was far more liberal than 
the Sinn Fein leaders had anticipated. The Home 
Rule of the Government of Ireland Act had 
been enlarged almost beyond recognition, and this 
enlargement was a measure of the British weariness 
of Irish strife and desire for peace. Denunciations 
of murder and threats of condign punishment v> 
replaced by words which were practically an 
entreaty to the Irish leaders to behave themselves 
and to assume the silken cord which should bind 
them to the Empire. By the great inart ieulate mass 
of educated I risli opinion, the terms of the offer v* 
hailed with rapture modified by concern that such 
men as the leaders of Sinn Fein should be in\ 
form a Dominion Government. Had Sinn Fein 
accepted the offer then and there, and by so dointj 
abandoned the Republican standpoint from which 
they professed to view the relations between 

170 IRELAND IN 1921. 

England and Ireland, there was not one of their true 
supporters who would have reproached them with 
abandoning their ideals or betraying their faith. A 
certain section of their followers would, no doubt, 
have done their best to secure a renewal of the strife 
which had been so advantageous to them; an 
unimportant body of opinion, represented by the 
Clan na Gael and anti^British societies abroad, 
would have railed at them for their abandonment of 
a cause. But the world at large would have 
applauded them as men who had the statesmanlike 
wisdom to abandon the unattainable in favour of a 
reality which their own efforts had brought about. 

The very generosity of the offer, however, 
militated against its acceptance. To the more 
extreme Eepublicans, it seemed that it only just 
fell short of their demands, that so much had 
been gained by a policy of violence and disorder 
that a continuance of such a policy could not 
fail to succeed in bringing them the acceptance 
of their demands in their entirety. They argued 
that Great Britain must have yielded so much 
because she felt herself unable to resist the 
demands made upon her ; that the terms of the offer 
were signs of weakness rather than of generosity. 
Mr. de Valera said as much on the very day he 
returned to Ireland. " This is not a time for talk, " 
he said. " We have learned one magnificent lesson 
in Ireland in the last couple of years, and that is 
that it is by acts and not by talk that a nation will 
achieve its freedom. I do not want, therefore, to 
begin a bad example by starting speech-making. If 
we act in the future as we have acted for the last 
couple of years we will never have to talk about 


freedom, for we will have it." The Irish Bull- 
of July 25th contained the following words : 

" During the last ten days the London Press, 
in its comments upon the negotiations now in 
progren, has displayed almost unanimously a total 
inability to understand Ireland, her ambitions, or 
the determination of her people to realise them. All 
the ini{)ortant London journals represent the British 
Cabinet as about to offer 'liberal/ * generous. 
' almost prodigal ' terms to the Irish people, and 
then explain that the terms in question * concede ' 
to Ireland ' Dominion Home Rule, with modifica- 
tions.' It is more accurately described as a denial 
of justice and a negation of the right of self- 
determination which British statesmen during the 
Great War considered essential to world peace. 
This is, indeed, understood by some of the British 
newspapers, which actually threaten the Irish 
people with a revival of the military terror if we do 
not gratefully accept what is being offered to us. 
Ireland understands what a refusal of so-called 
1 reasonable ' offers would mean, but the Irish people 
have their own views of what offers are reasonable, 
and, threats of a new terror notwithstanding, they 
will agree to nothing which denies the ancient unity 
of Ireland or seeks to impose upon the nation alien 
domination of any kind. 

The Hritish Press should have learned by this 
time that menaces carry little weight in Ireland. 
Our country is now inured to for Moreover, 

threats are silly weapons to use if there is any 
sincerity behind the British pr us of a de 

for peace in Ireland. England may or may 
want an understanding between the two peoples, but 

172 IRELAND IN 1921. 

there is no doubt that England has force enough to 
continue indefinitely the torture of Ireland. Never- 
theless, the people of Ireland have their minds made 
up. They will accept a peace which is just and does 
not betray the dead and the living. They will 
return to the wilderness of hardship, suffering, and 
death before they compromise in the slightest degree 
the national honour. 

" Since it is Ireland's right to be free, it is 
Ireland's right to control her own finances. But the 
primary demand, inclusive of all others, is that 
Ireland should be free. Nothing can satisfy that 
demand but full national independence. The Irish 
question dates back to far beyond the times when 
English kings extracted tribute from our people. 
Were the taxation of the Irish people by the British 
Government henceforth to cease the Irish question 
would remain and the Irish people would fight as 
resolutely as before." 

Mr. de Valera's first step in consulting his 
colleagues was to call a meeting of the Ministry of 
Dail Eireann, which took place on July 27th. 
Further meetings between the Sinn Fein leaders 
resulted in a decision to call together the members 
of Dail Eireann for a full consideration of the 
Government's terms. This meeting was called for 
Tuesday, August 16th, and the announcement caused 
considerable interest in Dublin, if only for the 
reason that an open meeting of the Dail, which, 
until the truce, had been an illegal assembly, was a 
tangible sign of peace. Further, it was known that 
the Sinn Fein leaders had the assurance that every- 
thing would be done to facilitate the meeting, even 
to the extent of releasing from gaol the members 


then in custody, of whom tin -re at that time 

cither in prison or interned. 

The actual order for the release of these men 
I made on August Oth, and provided yet another 
opportunity for the (Government to perform one of 
those acts of crass stupidity which have done more 
to embitter the Irish question than resolute enforce- 
ment of the most unpopular policy. The order was 
as follows : 

"In keeping with the public umh'rtaking- given by 
the Prime Minister that his M Government would 

facilitate in every practicable way the steps now b 
taken to promote peace in Ireland, it has been decided to 
lelease forthwith and without conditions all member 
Dai I Kireann who are at present interned or who are under- 
going- sentences of penal servitude or imprisonment 
enable them to attend the meeting of Dail Kireann which 
has been summoned for August 16th. His Maje> 
Government has decided that one member, Mr. -I. 1 
McKeown, who has been convicted of murder, canno; 

Now McKeown was at this time one of the 
popular heroes of the rebels. He was a man with a 
fanatical belief in the justice of the Republi 
cause, and one of the few I.R.A. leaders who took 
up arms from stern conviction. Subsequent to an 
ambush of Auxiliaries at Ballinalee on February 
2nd, in which he had played the part of leader and 
had behaved with marked chivalry to the wounded 
cadets, he was surrounded in a house, and in the 
course of his capture had shot a District Inspector. 
For this he had been tried by Court Martial and 
condemned to death, although the sentence had not 
been confirmed. The point lay not in the justice of 
his exclusion from the act of pardon, hut in 
expediency. Although McKeown happened to be 
the only member of the Dail actually under sentence 

174 IRELAND IN 1921. 

for murder, there was no reasonable doubt that 
others were equally guilty individually, even if the 
collective guilt of the Bail as the body to whom the 
I.E. A. was responsible was not sufficient. At all 
events, the exception once made should have been 
adhered to. Sinn Fein, however, made representa- 
tions to the Government through the Dublin Castle 
authorities that if the exception were not cancelled 
they would give notice of the termination of the 
truce. Before this threat the Government gave 
way, and McKeown was released on the morning of 
the 8th. The net result of the incident was to 
render the Sinn Fein leaders more suspicious than 
ever of the Government's intentions, and to afford 
them one more reason to believe that by adopting a 
high hand they could extort what terms they pleased. 
On August llth Mr. de Valera's reply to the 
Government's offer was delivered at No. 10, 
Downing Street, and the Prime Minister being in 
Paris, it was forwarded to him there. The fact 
that the reply had been made before the meeting of 
the Dail occasioned some surprise. But it must be 
remembered that the Dail was not, and never had 
been, a deliberative assembly, and that its members 
were unaccustomed to the discussion of high 
politics, as they proved before the year was out. 
The rank and file of the Dail had been nominated 
by the Sinn Fein leaders, and at this stage were quite 
prepared to leave the decision upon matters of 
policy to them. The Dail Cabinet had some days 
previously drawn up their reply, and although Mr. 
de Valera took the opportunity of consulting some of 
the Dail members who were released by the British 
authorities, there could be no doubt that a reply 


drawn up by him and his ministers would be 
acceptable to the Bail at its full meeting. The 
reply was dated from the li Office of the Pre 
Mansion House, Dublin," and bore the caution 
" Official Translation," which may have implied 
that it was originally drawn up in the language of 
diplomacy, or else in Erse, both unlikely supposi- 
tions, owing to the ignorance of the majority of the 
Dail Cabinet of these languages. It was addressed 
to Mr. Lloyd George, and ran as follows : 

" Sir, On the occasion of our last interview I gave it 
as my judgment that Dail Eireann could not, and that 
the Irish people would not, accept the proposals of your 
Government as set forth in the draft of July 20th which 
you had presented to me. Having consulted my colleagues, 
and with them given these proposals the most earnest 
consideration, I now confirm that judgment. 

" The outline given in the draft is self-contradictory, 
and " the principle of the pact " not easy to determine. 
To the extent that it implies a recognition of Ireland's 
separate nationhood and her right to self-determination we 
appreciate and accept it. But in the stipulations and 
express conditions concerning the matters that are vital 
the principle is strangely set aside, and a claim advanced 
1>\ your Government to an interference in our affairs, and 
to a control which we cannot admit. 

" Ireland's right to choose for herself the path she 
shall take to realise her own destiny must be accepter 
indefeasible. It is a right that has been maintained 
through centuries of oppression and at the cost of 
unparalleled sacrifice and untold suffering, and it will not 
be surrendered. We cannot propose to abrogate or impair 
it, nor ran Britain or any other foreig-n State or group of 
States legitimately claim to interfere with its exercise in 
order to serve their own special inter. 

" The Irish people's belief is that the national destiny 
can best he realised in political detachment, free from 
Imperialistic entanglements, which they feel will involve 
enterprises out of harmony with the national character, 
prove destructive of their ideals, and be fruitful only of 
ruinous wars, crushing burdens, social discontent, and 

176 IRELAND IN 1921. 

general unrest and unhappiness. Like the small States of 
Europe, they are prepared to hazard their independence on 
the basis of moral right, confident that as they would 
threaten no nation or people, they would in turn be free 
from aggression themselves. This is the policy they have 
declared for in plebiscite after plebiscite, and the degree 
to which any other line of policy deviates from it must 
be taken as a measure of the extent to which external 
pressure is operative and violence is being done to the 
wishes of the majority. 

( * As for myself and my colleagues, it is our deep 
conviction that true friendship with England, which 
military coercion has frustrated for centuries, can be 
obtained most readily now through amicable but absolute 
separation. The fear, groundless though we believe it to 
be, that Irish territory may be used as the basis for an 
attack upon England 's liberties can be met by reasonable 
guarantees not inconsistent with Irish sovereignty. 

" ' Dominion status ' for Ireland everyone who under- 
stands the conditions knows to be illusory. The freedom 
which the British Dominions enjoy is not so much the 
result of legal enactments or of treaties, as of the 
immense distances which separate them from Britain and 
have made interference by her impracticable. The 
most explicit guarantees, including the Dominions' 
acknowledged right to secede, would be necessary to secure 
for Ireland an equal degree of freedom. There is no 
suggestion, however, in the proposals made of such 
guarantees. Instead, the natural position is reversed; our 
geographical situation with respect to Britain is made the 
basis of denials and restrictions unheard of in the case of 
the Dominions; the smaller island must give military 
safeguards and guarantees to the larger, and suffer itself to 
be reduced to the position of a helpless dependency. 

" It should be obvious that we could not urge the 
acceptance of such proposals upon our people. A certain 
treaty of free association with the British Commonwealth 
group, as with a partial league of nations, we would have 
been ready to recommend, and as a Government to 
negotiate and take responsibility for, had we an assurance 
that the entry of the nation as a whole into such association 
would secure for it the allegiance of the present dissenting 
minority, to meet whose sentiment alone this step could be 

" Treaties dealing with the proposals for free inter- 


trade ami mutual limitation of armaments we are ready at 
any time to nejj -ual agreement for facilitating 

omiiiun. . ;is \\ell a> railway and other comii; . 

teel certain, also be effected. No obstacle 
of any kind will be placed by us in the wav of that Mnooth 
:nercial intercourse \\hich is essential in the life of 
In* tli i -lands, each the best customer and the best market 
of the other. It must, of course, be understood that all 
treaties and agreements would have to be submitted for 
ratification to the national legislature in the fir .nee, 

and subsequently to the Irish people as a whole, under 
s which would make it evident that their 
decision would be a free decision, and that every elen. 
of military compulsion was absent. 

Bastion <>i Ireland's liability " for a share of 
the present debt of the United Kingdom " we are prepared 
to leave to be determined by a board of arbitrators, one 
appointed by Ireland, one by Great Britain, and a third to 
be chosen by agreement, or, in default, to be nominated, 
say, by the President of the United States of America, if 
the President would consent. 

" As regards the question at issue between the poli 
minority and the great majority of the Irish people, that 
must remain a question for the Irish people themselves to 
settle. We cannot admit the right of the Hi; 
Government to mutilate our country, either in its own 
interest or at the rail of any section of our population. 
We do not contemplate the use of force. If your Govern- 
ment stands aside, we can effect a complete reconciliation. 
We agree with you " that no common action can be secured 
by force/' O\u hat this wi^e and true prii, 

which your Government piv r the settlement 

of our local problem it >eems unwilling to apply mii-i^tent 1 y 
to the fundamental problem of the relations between our 
inland and yours. The principle we rely on in the one case 
we are ready to apply in the other, but should this prin< 
not yield an immed ement, we are willing that this 

. be -ubmr nal arbitration. 

" Thus we are ready to meet you in all that is 

-onable and just. The responsibility for initiating and 

ting an honourable peace rests primarily, not with 

our Government, but with yours. We ha\ 

to impose, no claims to ad ut the one, that we be 

freed from aggression. We reciprocate with a sincerity to 

be measured only by the terrible sufferings our people have 


178 IRELAND IN 1921. 

undergone the desire you express for mutual and lasting 
friendship. The sole cause of the " ancient feuds " which 
you deplore has been, as we know, and as history proves, 
the attacks of English rulers upon Irish liberties. These 
attacks can cease forthwith, if your Government has the 
will. The road to peace and understanding lies open. I 
am, Sir, faithfully yours, EAMONN DE VALERA." 

The Government's offer of July 20th and Mr. de 
Valera's reply of August 10th were published in 
the newspapers of August 15th, the day before the 
meeting of the Dail. Despite the unfavourable 
nature of the reply, it was certain that something 
had been gained. Both sides were manoeuvring for 
position; were, nominally at least, endeavouring to 
find a basis for a conference. The lines of approach 
to this conference were now defined. The Govern- 
ment offered Dominion status, Sinn Fein held out 
hopes of close alliance with the Empire provided 
that the question of allegiance was not raised and 
that British protection of Ulster was withdrawn. 

To Mr. de Valera's letter the Prime Minister 
replied as follows, on August 13th. This letter 
was published at the same time as the previous 
correspondence : 

* ' Sir, The earlier part of your letter is so much opposed 
to our fundamental position that we feel bound to leave you 
in no doubt of our meaning. You state that after 
consulting your colleagues you confirm your declaration 
that our proposals are such as Dail Eireann could not, and 
the Irish people would not, accept. You add that the 
outline given in our draft is self-contradictory, and the 
principle of the pact offered to you not easy to determine. 
We desire, therefore, to make our position absolutely 

" In pur opinion, nothing is to be gained by prolonging 
a theoretical discussion of the national status which you 
may be willing to accept as compared with that of the great 
self-governing Dominions of the British Commonwealth, 
but we must direct your attention to one point upon which 


lay some emphasis, and upon \\hich no i (jovern- 

>mpromise, nanul \ . tin- claim that we should 

.ow ledge tne r land to secede from her 

allegiance to tin- King. No such riirht can ever be 
acknowledged by us. The geographical propinquity of 
In-lain! to tin- British Isles is a fundamental fact. The 
history of the two islands for many centuries, however it 
- sufficient proof that their destinies are 
indissoluhly linked. Ireland has sent members to the 
British Parliament for more than a hundred years. Many 

>ands of her people during all that time have enlisted 

iy and servecf gallantly in the Forces of the Crown. 

it numbers, in all the Irish provinces, are profoundly 
attached to the Throne. These facts permit of one answer, 
and one only, to the claim that Britain should negotiate 
wuh Ireland as a separate and foreign power. 

" When you, as the chosen representative of Irish 
national ideals, came to speak with me, I made one 
condition only, of which our proposals plainly stated 
the ehVct that Ireland should recognise the force of 
geographical and historical facts. It is those facts which 
the problem of British and Irish relations. If 
they did ! , there would be no problem to discuss. 

11 I pass, therefore, to the conditions which are imposed 
by these facts. We set them OUT clearly in six clauses in 
our former prop<>^N. and need not re-state them here, 
except to say that the British Government cannot consent 

to the ret. uch questions, which concern 

it Britain and Ireland alone, to the arbitration of a 
foreign Power. 

" We are profoundly ^lad to have your agreement that 

hern Ireland cannot le coerced, 'fhis point is of great 

imp' . because the resolve of our people to resist with 

i- full power any attempt at secession by one part of 

Ire! rflM Witt it of necessity an equal resolve to 

another part of Ireland to abandon 

its alleiriar n. We gladly give you the 

ricur in any settlement which 
'and may make for Irish unity 

in the six conditions already laid down, which apply 
southern and Norn- 'and alike; but we cannot 

on of your relations with Northern 
I reland to freiirn arbitration. 

" The conditions of the proposed settlement do not arise 
:u any desire to force our will upon people of another 

180 IRELAND IN 1921. 

race, but from facts which are as vital to Ireland's welfare 
as to our own. They contain no derogation from Ireland's 
status as a Dominion, no desire for British ascendancy 
over Ireland, and no impairment of Ireland's national 

" Our proposals present to the Irish people an 
opportunity such as has never dawned in their history 
before. We have made them in the sincere desire to achieve 
peace ; but beyond them we cannot go. We trust that you 
will be able to accept them in principle. I shall be ready 
to discuss their application in detail whenever your 
acceptance in principle is communicated to me. I am, 
yours faithfully, D. LLOYD GEORGE." 

In order to complete the documents relating to 
the Government's offer, a fourth letter must be 
added. This letter was written by General Smuts 
to Mr. de Valera on August 4th, and a copy of it 
had been given by General Smuts to Mr. Lloyd 
George, with permission to publish it. The text of 
the letter was issued to the public at the same time 
as the three already quoted, that is to say, the day 
before the meeting of the Dail. 

General Smuts' letter was written from the Savoy 
Hotel, London, and dated August 4th. It was as 
follows : 

" My dear de Yalera, -Lane* duly reported to me the 
substance of his conversations with you and handed me 
your letter of July 31st. He told me of your anxiety to 
meet and discuss the situation with Ulster representatives. 
Since then I have, as I wired you yesterday, done my best 
to bring about such a meeting, but Sir James Craig, while 
willing to meet you in a conference with Mr. Lloyd George, 
still remains unwilling to meet you in his absence, and 
nothing that I have been able to do or say has moved him 
from that attitude. If you were to request a meeting with 
him he would reply setting forth his position, and saying 
that Ulster will not be moved from the constitutional 
position which she occupies under the existing legislation ; 
she is satisfied with her present status and will on no 
account agree to any change. 

* General Smuts' private secretary. 


" On the other hand, both in your conversation 
l-ine and in your letter you insist on I'l- 
a United Ireland Constitution, ami unless that is done 
say that no further progress can be made. There is, there- 
fore, an impasse which I do not at present know how to 
over. Both you and Craig are equally immovable. 
ce as a solution of the problem is out of the question 
both on your and h >.\e process of arriving at 

an agreement will therefore take time. 

" The result is that at this stage I can be of no further 
TIM- in this matter, and I have therefore decided to adhere 
to my plan of sailing for South Africa to-morrow. Th 
regret most deeply, as my desire to help in pushing the 

ment one stage further has been very gr< 
Hut I must bow to the inevitable. 

" I should like to add a word in reference to the 

situation as 1 have < -ome to view it. I have discussed it 

fully with you and your colleagues. I have also 

probed as deeply as I could into the Ulster position. My 

notion is that lor the present no solution based on 

Ulster coming into the Iri :11 succeed. Ulster 

will not agree, she cannot be forced, and any solution on 

those lines is at present foredoomed to failure. 

" I believe that it is in the interest of Ulster to come 
in, and that the force of community of interests will 
a period of years prove so great and compelling that Ul 
will her-flt decide to join the Irish State. But at present 
an Irish settlement is only possible if the hard facts are 
calmly faced and VNt-r is lett alone. Not only will 
m-t consent to oomfl in, hut even if she does the Irish S- 
will, I fea under such a handicap of internal 

friction and discordance that the result may \vell be failure 
once more. 

" My strong advice to you is to leave Ulster alone for 

as the only line along which a solution is 

practicable; to concentrate on a free Constitution for the 

remaining twenty-six counties, and through a successful 

running of the Iri->h State and the pull of economic and 

: peaceful forces, eventually to bring Ulster into t 
State. I know how repugnant such a solution must be to 
all Irish patriots, who look upon Irish unity as a sinr i}\t>i 
mm of any Irish settlement. Hut the wise man, while 
fi- ht ing for his ideal to the uttermost, learns also to bow 

he inevitable. And a humble acceptance of the facts 
is often the only way of finally overcoming them. It 

182 IRELAND IN 1921. 

proved so in South Africa, where ultimate unity was only 
realised through several stages and a process of years; 
and where the Republican ideal, for which we had made 
unheard-of sacrifices, had ultimately to give way to another 
form of freedom. 

" My belief is that Ireland is travelling the same 
painful road as South Africa, and that with wisdom and 
moderation in her leadership she is destined to achieve no 
less success. As I said to you before, I do not consider 
one single clean-cut solution of the Irish question possible 
at present. You will have to pass through several stages, 
of which a free Constitution for Southern Ireland is the 
first, and the inclusion of Ulster and the full recognition 
of Irish unity will be the last. Only the first stage will 
render the last possible, as cause generates effect. To 
reverse the process and begin with Irish unity as the first 
step is to imperil the whole settlement. Irish unity should 
be the ideal to which the whole process should be directed. 

" I do not ask you to give up your ideal, but only to 
realise it in the only way which seems to me at present 
practicable. Freedom will lead inevitably to unity; 
therefore begin with freedom with a free Constitution 
for the twenty-six counties as the first and most important 
step in the whole settlement. 

" As to the form of that freedom, here, too, you are 
called to choose between two alternatives. To you, as you 
say, the Republic is the true expression of national self- 
determination. But it is not the only expression ; and it is 
an expression which means your final and irrevocable 
severance from the British League. And to this, as you 
know, the Parliament and people of this country will not 

" The British Prime Minister has made you an offer of 
the other form of freedom of Dominion status which is 
working with complete success in all parts of the British 
League. Important British Ministers have described 
Dominion status in terms which must satisfy all you could 
legitimately wish for. Mr. Lloyd George in his historic 
reply to General Hertzog at Paris, Mr. Bonar Law in a 
celebrated declaration in the House of Commons; Lord 
Milner, as Secretary of State for the Colonies, have stated 
their views, and they coincide with the highest claims 
which Dominion statesmen have ever put forward on behalf 
of their free nations. 

" What is good enough for these nations ought surely 
to be good enough for Ireland, too. For Irishmen to say 


to the world that they will not be satisfied with the 
of the great British Dominions would be to alienate all 
that -\iiipathy which has so far been the main support of 
tin- [rub 

" The Briti-h Prime Minister offers complete Dominion 

;o the twenty- to certain 

strategic safeguards which you are asked to agree to 

voluntarily as a free Dominion, and which we South 

agreed to as a free nation in the Union of South 

Africa. To my mind, such an offer by a British Prime 

Mil. ho unlike his predecessorsis in a position to 

deliver the goods, is ' of unique importance. 

" You arc no longer offered a Home Rule scheme of the 
(iladstone or Asquith type, with its limited powers, and 
reservations of a fundamental character. Full Dominion 
status with all it is and implies is yours if you will but 
take it. it is far more than was offered to the Transvaal 
and Free State, who fought for freedom one of the greatest 
wars in the history of Great Britain, and one which 
reduced their own countries to ashes and their little people 
to ruins. 

11 They accepted the far less generous offer that was made 
to them; from that foothold they then proceeded to improve 
their position, until to-day South Africa is a happy, 
contented, united, and completely free country. What they 
have finally achieved after years of warfare and political 
evolution is now offered you not in doles or instalme 
but at once and completely. If, as I hope, you accept, 
you will b.-come a sister Dominion in a great circle of equal 
States, who will stand beside you and shield you and 
protect your new rights as if these were their own rights; 
who will view an invasion of your rights or a violation of 
your statu< as it it was an invasion and a violation of their 
own, and who will thus give you the most effective 
guarantee possible any possible arbitrary inter- 

ference by the British Government with your rights and 
iuii. In fact. the British Government will have no 
further basis of inter: rs, as y 

relationi with (Jroat Britain will be a concern not of the 
British (TO\ but of the Imperial Conference, of 

which Great Britain will be only one of seven members. 
Any qua .m<l the British Govern- 

ment will bo for the Imperial Conference to decide. You 
will be a five member of a . <>ague, of which most of 

the other membeis will bo in tho same pomUHl ^lf ; 

184 IEELAND IN 1921. 

and the Conference will be the forum for thrashing out any 
questions which may arise between members. This is the 
mature and the constitutional practice of Dominion 

" The difficulty in Ireland is no longer a constitutional 
'difficulty. I am satisfied that, from the constitutional 
point of view, a fair settlement of the Irish question is 
now possible and practicable. It is the human difficulty 
which remains. The Irish question is no longer a 
constitutional, but mostly a human problem. 

' A history such as yours must breed a temper, an 
outlook, passions, suspicions, which it is most difficult 
to deal with. On both sides sympathy is called for, 
generosity, and a real largeness of soul. I am sure that 
both the English and Irish peoples are ripe for a fresh 
start. The tragic horror of recent events, followed so 
suddenly by a truce and fraternising all along the line, 
has set flowing deep fountains of emotion in both peoples, 
and created a new political situation. 

* It would be the gravest reflection on our statesman- 
ship if this auspicious moment was allowed to pass. You 
and your friends have now a unique opportunity such as 
Parnell and his predecessors and successors never had to 
secure an honourable and lasting peace for your people. 
I pray to God that you may be wisely guided, and that 
peace may now be concluded, before tempers again change 
and perhaps another generation of strife ensues. Ever 
yours sincerely, J. C. SMUTS/' 

With these letters before them and before the 
eyes of the world that watched them, the members 
of Dail Eireann proceeded to their first unhindered 


The first full meeting of Bail Eireann was 
necessarily an event of powerful appeal to the 
Irish imagination. Hitherto, the Bail had never 
assembled as a whole; the nearest approach to 
deliberation had been the hurried and restricted 
meetings mentioned in a previous chapter. The 
members of the Bail themselves had been elected 
upon one qualification, and one only, that they 
had proved themselves ardent supporters of the 
I.K.A. That such an assembly, composed of 
such persons, should not only be permitted to 
meet, but should indeed be encouraged to do 
so by the British Government, was proof posit ive 
to the people that England had made up her mind 
t<> nvo-nise the Bail as the de facto Government 
of Ireland. And it must be remembered that the 
Bail was pledged to the Republic, to which every 
member had taken an oath of allegiance. The 
int( was obvious to the rank and file of Sinn 


It was also unlikely, in the nature of things, that 

* See Note C in Appendix. 

186 IRELAND IN 1921. 

the Dail would content itself with meeting and 
proceeding at once to consider the political situation 
without further preamble. The ' back benchers/ 
if we may so term them, of the Dail were certainly 
prepared to vote blindly and from a spirit of 
discipline and allegiance to the cause for anything 
that their leaders might propose. But those leaders 
themselves, the Ministers of Dail Eireann, were 
more than anxious to give an account of their 
stewardship, to demonstrate the work they had 
accomplished in building up the skeleton of Govern- 
ment during the months of oppression. If the 
Dail were to meet, and forthwith to issue a message 
of defiance to the British Government, there was 
every likelihood of its forcible dispersion. Prudence 
suggested that if it wished to remain in session, it 
should waste as much time as possible in the 
examination of the events of the past. 

The traditions of Sinn Fein were illustrated at 
the opening of the Dail, which met in the Round 
Room of the Dublin Mansion House. All members 
elected to the Southern or Northern Parliaments 
were summoned to sign the roll, thus demonstrating 
the contention that these elections were regarded 
by Sinn Fein as elections to the Dail of an undivided 
Ireland. Those who replied to this summons, or 
practically all the Sinn Fein members for North 
and South, then recited the oath of allegiance to 
the Republic, which was as follows : 

" I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I do not, 
and shall not, yield a voluntary support to any 
pretended Government, authority, or power within 
Ireland hostile and inimical thereto; and I do 
further swear (or affirm) that to the best of my 


knowledge and ability I will support and defend 
the Irish Republic and the Government of the Irish 
Republic, which is Dail Eireann, against all 
enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true 
faith and allegiance to the same; and that I take 
this obligation freely, without any mental reser 
tion of purpose of evasion. So help me God." 
The first business of the meeting was the election 
a Speaker. Mr. Sean O'Kelly, who had been 
aker of the previous Dail, pleaded that he 
could no longer duplicate this office with that of 
Representative of the Republic in France, and 
Professor MacNeill was elected in his place. Then 
Mr. de Valera addressed the assembly. He said 
that he would deal with the general course of 
negotiations at a future time, and announced that 
the reply to be sent by the Irish nation to the British 
Prime Minister and his Government would be 
discussed by the Dail in private. " You all under- 
stand," he said, " that it is intended by the British 
Government to make that reply an issue of peace or 
war with this nation, hence it is that we have to 
discuss that matter first in private. Later on, when 
reply is sanctioned and ready for despatch. 
there will be another public session." In the course 
of his speech he made an interesting reference 
the doctrine of Republicanism. Tie said : 

' In the General Election of two and a half years a. 
which was in Affect a p 

the Irish people what t'onu of Lroverninent they wai 
how th-\ wished in live. BO that they ini^lit have an 
opportunity of working out tor theniMd\ > their own 
national life in their <>wn \\ay. and ihe I hat the 

people <:av | 1 !<> not say th;r the 

ansv i form of provernnieiii so much he 

not Republican doctrinaires hut it was for 1 

188 IRELAND IN 1921. 

freedom and Irish independence, and it was obvious 
to everyone who considered the question that Irish 
independence could not be realised at the present time in 
any other way so suitably as through a Republic. . . 
The first duty, therefore, of the Ministry was to set about 
making that de jure Republic a de facto Republic/' 

This is the first hint from any Sinn Fein leader, 
since the adherence of that party to the principles 
of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, that the 
Republican form was only chosen because it offered 
the only suitable means of securing Irish freedom 
and independence. It was, in effect, if not in 
intention, an admission that if the British 
Government could offer equivalent freedom and 
independence under some other form than that of 
the Republic, this offer might conceivably be made 
to fit in with the aims of the movement. To some 
extent these words of Mr. de Valera explain the 
course he took in the negotiations which led up to 
the Conference. Mr. de Valera has been freely 
accused of inconsistence, but as a matter of fact his 
adherence to his expressed policy was, on the whole, 
closer than that of any of the other personalities 
involved, British or Irish, except the Ulster leaders. 

On the following day, Mr. de Valera turned 
from the first of the objections standing in the way 
of acceptance of the British Government's offer, 
that of allegiance, to the second, that of partition. 
He dealt with the offer in the form in which it then 
stood in one sentence: " We cannot, and we will 
not, on behalf of this nation, accept these terms." 
Then, after dealing with some points in the offer 
and demonstrating the impossibility of their 
acceptance, he made an appeal to Ulster to abandon 
her demand for partition. 


" The North of Ireland can recor; 
they want to, as we recognise ourselv. ., and if ne<j" 
<an only begin when we give up the right to live our own 
lift* in our nun u ;i y then- can be no n MS unit 

h or anywhere. Tin* people of the. North are 
regard thiN from their ou n point of view. In coming 1 : 
negotiations with us they have not to give up that point 

lew, A^ l';ir a-* I am concerned I would he williiu 
suggest to tin- Iri^h people to give up a good deal in order 
to have an Ireland that could look to the future without 
anticipating distracting international problems. That is 
what these negotiations have been, as far as I am concer: 
directed towards all the time to get into touch with 
people of the North of Ireland, and to tell them ' 

ki-ds them we have no enmity, because they are Irishmen 
living in Ireland, and that we would make sacrifices for 
them we would never think of making for Britain. We 
have not been able to secure that, because, unfortunate! v . 
the major problem between Ireland and Britain 
engendered another problem in a section of our own pe<>; 

" England's solution of that has been to suggest that 
there should be an arrangement by which the minority of 
the island might have their interests safeguarded. And 
would be able to give them every safeguard which any 
reasonable person could say they were entitled to. As I 
have said, we are ready to leave this question to external 
arbitration, because we are basing our claims only on right, 
and berause we know perfectly well that pleaded befon 
impartial tribunal there could only be a verdict in 

" England's claims in Ireland are unreasonable. The 
claims of the minority are unreasonable, but evei, 
unreasonable claims we will be ready t ST. And I 

for one would be ready to go a long way to give wa\ 
them, particularly to their sent in f we could get 

them to come with us and to consider the necessities of 
their own country, and not be allying themselves win: 

The sentiments of this speech met with no 
sympathetic- response in Ulster, where it wasobvi 
that not only the Ulster leaders, but their followers 
throughout the Province, had finally made up their 
minds to have nothing to do with any negotiati 
between the British Government and Sinn Fein 

190 IRELAND IN 1921. 

The Bail went into secret session, not so much to 
discuss negotiations, but to consider the detailed 
reports of the Ministers, which had been given in 
general terms in public. Meanwhile the Irish 
Bulletin was at pains to prove, through the medium 
of long and involved argument, that the offer made 
to Ireland was not that of true Dominion status, 
but differed from it in many important particulars. 
Among the people of Ireland, opinion of the offer 
had not yet crystalised into any definite movement 
for or against. The only feeling of the country 
was one of relief that outrage and reprisal had 
ceased, and of determination that by hook or by 
crook some means must be found to prevent their 
renewal. Anxiety on this score was felt as the Dail 
continued to make no sign. It was remembered 
what manner of men its members were, and how 
little they represented the men who had a stake in 
the country. Those who owned the land, from the 
great landlords to the smallest peasant proprietors; 
business men, from the largest down to the village 
shopkeepers; labour itself, as representing any group 
of organised workers; all felt that their opinions 
would carry no weight in the discussions of the Dail, 
which would be swayed by the dictates of men who 
had made, during recent years at least, a trade of 
resistance to authority. These men might or might 
not have the theory of Irish independence at heart. 
What was almost certain was that they would fail 
to give adequate weight to the importance of 
Ireland's peace and prosperity. 

On the 19th Parliament adjourned, the Prime 
Minister utilising the occasion to emphasise the fact 
that the British Government had made an offer 


\\hirli ivarhcd tlif limits of concession, and must not 
be regarded as tin- first step in a bargain, to be 
extended t<> meet the demands of the other side 
The outline of the terms could not be changed, nor 
their basis altered. Details alone could be the 
subject of negotiation. 

The decision of the Dail was delivered at 
Downing Street on the 25th, in the form of a letter 
from Mr. de Valera to the Prime Minister, which 
was as follows : 

MF, The anticipatory judgment I gave in my reply 
of August 10th has been confirmed. I laid the proposals 
of your nment before Dail Eireann and, by an 

unanimous vote, it has rejected them. 

" From your letter of August 13th it was clear that 
the principle we were asked to accept was that the 
' geographical propinquity ' of Ireland to Britain imposed 
the condition of the subordination of Ireland's right to 
Britain's strategic interests as she conceives them, and that 
the very length and persistence of the efforts made in 
the past to compel Ireland's acquiescence in a foreign 
domination imposed the condition of acceptance of that 
domination now. 

" \\ ' cannot believe that your Government intended 
to commit itself to a principle of sheer militarism 
ructive of international morality and fatal to the 
\\oi-M'- peace. If a small nation's right to independence 
is forfeit when a more powerful neighbour covets it- 
territory for the military or other advantages it is supposed 
to confer, tlieiv nd to liberty. No longer can 

small nation claim a right to a separate sovereign exigence. 
Holland and Denmark can be made subservient to Germany, 
Belgium to Germany or to 1 tugal to Spain. 

nations that h:. :vibly annexed to empires lose 

therein their title to independence, there can be for them no 
re-birth to freedom. In Ireland's case, to speak of her 
seceding from a partnership she has not accepted, or from 
an allegiance which she has not undertaken to render 
fundamentally lal<e. jiHt a< the claim to subordinate her 
independence to British y is fundamentally un 

192 IRELAND IN 1921. 

To neither can we, as representatives of the nation, lend 

"If our refusal to betray our nation's honour and the 
trust that has been reposed in us is to be made an issue of 
war by Great Britain, we deplore it. We are as conscious 
of our responsibilities to the living as we are mindful of 
the principle, or of our obligations to the heroic dead. We 
have not sought war, nor do we seek war, but if war be 
made upon us we must defend ourselves, and shall do so, 
confident that, whether our defence be successful or 
unsuccessful, no body of representative Irishmen or Irish- 
women will ever propose to the nation the surrender of its 

" We long to end the conflict between Britain and 
Ireland. If your Government be determined to impose its 
will upon us by force and, antecedent to negotiation, to 
insist upon conditions that involve a surrender of our 
whole national position, and make negotiations a mockery, 
the responsibility for the continuance of the conflict rests 
upon you. 

" On the basis of the broad guiding principle of 
government by consent of the governed, peace can be 
secured a peace that will be just and honourable to all, 
and fruitful of concord and enduring amity. To negotiate 
such a peace Dail Eireann is ready to appoint its 
representatives, and, if your Government accepts the 
principle proposed, to invest them with plenary powers to 
meet and arrange with you for its application in detail. I 
am, Sir, faithfully yours, EAMONN DB VALERA." 

The Dail met in open session once more on the 
26th. The first business in which it indulged was 
the election of a new Ministry, in conformity with 
the principle that the present assembly was a new 
Dail. Mr. de Valera, proposed by Mr. McKeown 
and seconded by Mr. Mulcahy, both prominent 
I.R.A. leaders, was unanimously re-elected Presi- 
dent. His speech in acknowledging this re-election 
was devoted mainly to emphasising the unity which 
existed in the ranks of the Sinn Fein leaders. A 
single extract from this speech will suffice. " The 
very night that the British arrested me in Black- 


rock," said the newly re-elected President, " they 
found something which will have taught them t! 
there are no differences of opinion amongst us, and 
they know it. They found a statement which had 
been drawn up in order to contradict the state- 
ments which were being issued in America and 
elsewhere. They found a statement signed by every 
one of the Ministry of Bail Eireann, by all the 
Ministers who could be got into communication 
with, and the Ministers who were acting at the 
time. Every one of them had signed a statement 
saying that never at any time during the whole 
period of their office had there been any difference 
of opinion between me and them as regards policy 
and method."* Then, at twelve noon, the agreed 
time, he read the Bail's reply to the British 
proposals, first in Erse, then in English. It was 
remarked at the time that the passage which secured 
most applause was that in which the Bail signified 
its willingness to appoint representatives to 
negotiate peace. 

Mr. Lloyd George's reply was dated August 
26th, and was considered by the Bail in secret 
session on the next day. I forbear to quote it in 
full, as it has already been published in Command 
Paper No. 1502, but the following passages are 
important : 

1 ' The proposals which I made to you . . . were 
based upon full and sympathetic consideration of 
the views which you expressed. As I have already 
said, they were not made in any hai^linu: spirit. 
On the contrary, my colleagues and I went to the 

* For this document see page 86. 


194 IRELAND IN 1921. 

very limit of our powers in endeavouring to reconcile 
British and Irish interests. 

" Our proposals have gone far beyond all 
precedent, and have been approved as liberal by the 
whole civilised world. Even in quarters which have 
shown a sympathy with the most extreme of Irish 
claims they are regarded as the utmost which the 
Empire can reasonably offer or Ireland reasonably 
expect. . . . We consider that these proposals 
completely fulfil your wish that the principle of 
" government by consent of the governed " should 
be the broad, guiding principle of the settlement 
which your plenipotentiaries are to negotiate/ 1 

The Prime Minister went on to refute the Sinn 
Fein claim that Ireland had a right to be treated as a 
separate sovereign Power, and in support of his 
refutation quoted the Irish leaders of the past, from 
Grattan's famous " the ocean protests against 
separation, and the sea against union,'* to Daniel 
O'Connell and Thomas Davis. He pointed out that 
Ireland was now offered more than these had ever 
demanded, and showed the futility of the new claim 
to separate nationality. " It is playing with 
phrases to suggest that the principle of government 
by consent of the governed compels a recognition of 
that demand (for separate nationality) on our 
part, or that in repudiating it we are straining 
geographical and historical considerations to justify 
a claim to ascendency over the Irish race. There is 
no political principle, however clear, that can be 
applied without regard to limitations imposed by 
physical and historical facts. Those limitations 
are as necessary as the very principle itself to the 
structure of every free nation; to deny them would 


involve the dissolution of all democratic States." 

Towards the end of his letter the Prime 
Minister adopted a sterner tone. " We are reluctant 
to precipitate the issue, but we must point out that 
a prolongation of the present state of affairs is 
dangerous. Action is being taken in various 
directions which, if continued, would prejudice the 
truce and must ultimately lead to its termination. 
This would indeed be deplorable. Whilst, there- 
fore, prepared to make every allowance as to time 
which will advance the cause of peace, we cannot 
prolong a mere exchange of notes. It is essential 
that some definite and immediate progress should 
be made towards a basis upon which further 
negotiations can usefully proceed. Your letter 
seems to us, unfortunately, to show no such progress. 
" In this and my previous letters I have set 
forth the considerations which must govern the 
attitude of his Majesty's Government in any 
negotiations which they undertake. If you are 
prepared to examine how far these considerations 
can be reconciled with the aspirations which you 
represent, I shall be happy to meet you and your 

It was becoming obvious that Mr. de Valera, in 
invoking the genius of self-determination, was 
raising an argument which might easily lead him 
out of his depth into a political morass so deep that 
no man has yet succeeded in plumbing it. For if the 
principle of self-determination be admitted, what 
restriction is to be placed upon those who claim to 
exercise it? Ireland itself, in subsequent months, 
formed a perfect illustration of this difficulty, which 
must infallibly hamper any attempt to put the 

196 IRELAND IN 1921. 

theory into practice. Pursuing Mr. de Valera's 
line of argument, Ireland as a whole might be 
admitted to be a small nation which, by a majority, 
centred in the South and West, had determined upon 
separation from Great Britain. But the minority, 
centred in the North-East, and forming a community 
distinguishable by birth, dialect, and pursuits from 
the majority, had equally conclusively determined 
for union with Great Britain, involving partition 
from the majority in the South and West. How far 
was the principle of self-determination to extend ? 
If Ireland had a right to secede from her union with 
Great Britain, surely Ulster had a right to secede 
from the rest of Ireland? Mr. de Valera implied 
that self-determination must be limited to nations; 
that Ulster's claim had no validity because she 
formed part of the same nation as the rest of Ireland. 
Apart from the fact that it is extremely difficult to 
find any evidence in Irish history that Ireland as 
a whole was ever united as a nation to an extent 
sufficient to justify this assumption, ,Mr. de Valera 
disregarded the limit he had himself set when the 
principle involved still further subdivision of his 
country. During the latter months of the year, 
various local bodies in the six counties proclaimed 
their allegiance to Sinn Fein, and on the strength 
of this allegiance petitioned the Dail for inclusion 
in the twenty-six counties of the South. Mr. de 
Valera was the first to support these petitions, and 
to demand that a Boundary Commission should be 
set up in order to determine the inclusion of the areas 
represented by these local bodies in Southern 
Ireland. But, in their turn, certain parishes in the 
dissentient areas protested against such a course,, 


and, to go a step further, individual Sinn Feiners 
\vithin these parishes evinced a disposition to 
determine themselves in opposition to their 

Once again, where was the line to be drawn 
across this chain of self-determination? If the 
right to secede were granted to Ireland, it would 
appear logically that the right to secede must be 
granted to the individual, and with it leave to 
disregard the laws and ordinances in force in his 
parish. This is, of course, a reductio ad absurdum, 
but it admirably illustrates the difficulties into which 
Mr. de Valera was plunging. The whole crux of 
the phrase * self-determination for small nations ' 
lies in the definition of the word * nation/ Mr. 
Lloyd George, speaking at Barnsley on the 27th, 
touched upon this very point. 

"If Ireland has the right to separation, so has 

!;ind, so has Wales. I belong to a small nationality of 

tht^e islands. There is a larger number of people in that 

small country conversing in the native language of the 

race than you have got in Ireland talking their language. 

It is an emphatic, nationality, it is a distinguished 

TKitioiKility, it is a proud nationality, and if that is claimed 

for us to set up an independent republic we have got a 

greater rluim than anybody in the whole British Empire 

to do so." 

Mr. Lloyd George continued to speak of the 
nationality of the great Dominions : " They have got 

sense of nations, they have got the sense of being a 
separate and distinct people. All the same they 
have got the great sense of pride of belonging to 
this, the greatest family of nations in the world, 
known as the British Empire." Between the 
individual and the family of nations, there is an 
almost limitless range. At what point within it 

198 IRELAND IN 1921. 

can we determine the unit of community, the 
indivisible atom of self-determination, in which the 
minority can claim no right to separation, but must 
perforce bow to the will of the majority ? 

We may take advantage of the short pause in 
negotiation which followed the despatch of the 
Prime Minister's letter of August 26th to review 
the sequence of events in Ulster since the opening of 
the first Northern Parliament by the King on 
June 22nd. 

The peaceful establishment of Northern Ireland 
was from the first a source of profound irritation to 
the whole body of Sinn Fein, which saw in it the 
negation of all its arguments against partition. 
The North, working the Act in peace and prosperity, 
formed an awkward contrast to the South, where 
chaos reigned as a result of the policy of the Dail. 
Mr. de Valera expressed himself as averse to the 
coercion of Ulster, but it is doubtful what he 
included within that term. Certain it is that 
throughout the year, the truce notwithstanding, the 
efforts of the I.R.A. were directed towards making 
the position of Ulster untenable. The boycott of 
Ulster goods, which was continually lapsing owing 
to the damage it wrought to the Southern shop- 
keepers, was as frequently enforced by armed bands. 
Throughout the Six Counties roving bands of 
I.R.A. made it their business to molest Protestants 
and Unionists and destroy their property. In the 
city of Belfast itself, the Sinn Fein faction left no 
stone unturned to stir up that faction rioting for 
which the city is unhappily so notorious. These 
tactics were all designed to one end, which was to 
demonstrate to the people of the North that 


insistence on partition would result in such constant 
aggression from the Smith as would end in the ruin 
of I 

This compaign, which had been kept in cli 
during the King's visit by the vigilance of the 
military and police authorities, began again with 
the dispersal of the Crown Forces. Newry, on the 
borders of Armagh and Down, was the scene of the 
first on' Here, during the early hours of the 

morning of July 6th, an armed gang took four young 
Unionists from their beds and shot them by the 
roadside. At about the same time, another band, 
operating from the Clogher Valley, a Sinn Fein 
district of County Tyrone, raided a mail and goods 
train on the main Great Northern of Ireland line 
between Belfast and Londonderry. Having secured 
the mails, they set the train on fire, and succeeded in 
destroying a very large quantity of Belfast goods. 
Two days later an organised attack was made on 
Post Offices in Belfast for the purpose of securing 
cash. The attack was only partially successful. 
Indeed, the announcement of the impending truoe 
seemed to act as an added incentive to murder. The 
military authorities proclaimed the raising of the 
curfew in the three Northern to\\ns where it was 
in operation, Belfast, Newry, and Derry, from the 
11th. But on the 9th and 10th the situation 
ielv grave. In the provinces isolated 
Union i c murdered, and in the city of Bell 

an attack upon a police patrol while they were 
passing through a Sinn Fein area developed into an 
outbreak of rioting in which the death roll had 
reached fourteen by the evening of the 10th. 

The period aKnit the twelfth of July has always 

200 IRELAND IN 1921. 

been apt to breed trouble between the factions in 
Ulster, and it was unfortunate that in this year it 
coincided with the announcement of the truce, which 
the Northern Sinn Feiners were determined should 
not interfere with their campaign. Despite the fact 
that on the llth the Special Constabulary were 
disarmed and left with only their truncheons, in 
recognition of the existence of the truce, at a hurried 
meeting of the civil and military authorities it was 
decided to cancel the order raising the curfew, a 
measure very necessary in view of the fact that the 
rioting which had begun the day before had spread 
over the city, resulting in the destruction of over a 
hundred houses in the Sinn Fein quarter by the 
infuriated Unionists. Throughout the following 
week the state of Belfast resembled that of a city in 
a state of siege, the streets being infested with 
snipers, who were constantly driven by the police 
and military from their positions and who as 
regularly found new ones from which to pick off 
those who ventured into the disturbed areas. 

Meanwhile strong protests had been made by the 
Dublin Castle authorities to Mr. de Valera on the 
way the truce was being observed in Ulster, and as a 
result Mr. Eoin 0' Duffy was appointed Sinn Fein 
liaison officer for Ulster, a post which made him the 
channel of communication between the I.R.A. and 
the Crown Forces. On the 16th he announced that 
sniping on the part of the Roman Catholic popula- 
tion of Belfast would cease, except when undertaken 
in defence of their property. He also protested 
that the Catholics were not the aggressors, but were 
acting purely on the defensive, pointing out that 
trouble only arose in those areas where Catholics 


were in the minority. The trouble died down, and 
for a time all was quiet. 

The outlook of the Northern Government on the 
negotiations between Mr. de Valera and the British 
Prime Minister caused considerable speculation at 
this time. Sir James Craig, in the course of a 
speech made in London on August 3rd, said : 

' We who are in the midst of difficult times, and are 
quite ojM-n to take a leading part in them, would be indeed 
foolish if we were to say a single word that would interfere 
with the realisation of p-;i< throughout Ireland. We are 
all asking for peace in our own ways, but in regard to that 
I believe it would be the height of wisdom on the part of 
individuals, leaders, and of the Press especially, to say 
nothing in the meantime, because even a slip, even a guess, 
sometimes creates much more mischief than the originator 
of it has any idea.'* 

This policy of silence was well observed by the 
Northern leaders. They were, of course, aware of 
the offer that had been made to Sinn Fein, and they 
ually aware that upon the publication of this 
offer there would be a certain resentment in Ulster. 
The Unionists of the North were bound to feel that 
to some extent they had been unworthily treated by 
the British Government. They had accepted the 
provisions of the Government of Ireland Act, and 
had loyally put them into operation. Sinn Fein, 
which had rejected the Act and made war upon the 
Crown, had, by its rebellious actions, extorted more 

urahle UTIMS than had been given to Ulster. 
There was already a suspicion that if the North 
Were t< ask for a status similar to that offered to the 
South, she would be told that this could be obtained 
by abandonment of partition, and by this means 
alone. Extreme Orange men had no doubt 
whatever that the British Government would 

202 IRELAND IN 1921. 

willingly sacrifice Ulster in the cause of an Irish 
settlement, not perhaps by active coercion, but by 
offering the South such advantages that Ulster would 
be faced by the alternatives of ruin or surrender to 
her enemies. 

On August 6th an ominous incident took place in 
Belfast. A police constable challenged two men 
whom he suspected of acting suspiciously. They 
replied that they were soldiers of the I.R.A. On 
attempting to arrest them, the constable was fired at 
and wounded. The noise of the shot brought out a 
crowd, who succeeded in capturing the men. Mr. 
Eoin O'Dufiy came to the rescue. He said that the 
men were on regular patrol, in the interests of law 
and order, and under the protection of the truce, 
but that they should not have been carrying arms. 
The suggestion that Belfast was being regularly 
patrolled by the I.R.A. was hardly calculated to 
reassure the loyal population. 

On the 15th the observations of the Northern 
Cabinet on the Government offer to Mr. de Valera, 
in the form of a letter from Sir James Craig to Mr. 
Lloyd George, became known : 

" My dear Prime Minister, Tour proposals for an 
Irish settlement have now been exhaustively examined by 
my Cabinet and myself. We realise that the preamble is 
specially addressed to Mr. de Valera and his followers, and 
observe that it implies that difficulties have long existed 
throughout the Empire and America attributable to persons 
of Irish extraction. In fairness to the Ulster people, I 
must point out that they have always aimed at the retention 
of their citizenship in the United Kingdom and Empire of 
which they are proud to form part, and that there are not 
to be found in any quarter of the world more loyal citizens 
than those of Ulster descent. They hold fast to cherished 
traditions, and deeply resent any infringement of their 


rights and privileges, which helony equally to them an<; 
the other citizens within the Kinpire. 

"In order that you may correctly understand the 
attitude we propose to adopt it is necessary that I should 
rail to your mind the sacrifices we have so recently made in 
agreeing to self-government and consenting to the establish- 
mein >rthern Ireland. Much against 

wish, hut in the interests of peace, we accepted this as a 
final settlement ot the lonjr-oiit standing difficulty with 
which Great Hrituin had been confronted. We are now 
busily engaged in ratifying our part of this solemn bargain, 
while Irishmen outside the Northern area, who in the past 
struggled for Home Rule, have chosen to repudiate the 
Government of Ireland Act and to press Great Britain for 
wider power. To join in such pressure is repugnant to 
the people of Northern Ireland. 

" In the further interest of peace we therefore respect- 
fully decline to determine or interfere with the terms of 
settlement between Great Britain and Southern Ireland. 
It cannot, then, be said that " Ulster blocks the way." 
Similarly, if there exists an equal desire for peace on the 
part of Sinn Fein, they will respect the status quo in 
Ulster and will refrain from any interference with our 
Parliament and rights, which under no circumstances ran 
we permit. In adopting this course we rely on the British 
people, who charged us with the responsibility of under- 
taking our parliamentary institutions, to safeguard the 
ties that bind us to Great Britain and the Empire, to 
ensure that we are not prejudiced by any terms entered 
into between them and Mr. de Yalera, and to maintain the 
just equality exhibited throughout the Government of 
Ireland Act. 

" Our acceptance of your original invitation to meet 
in conference still holds good, and if at any time our 
assistance is again desired we are available, but I feel bound 
to acquaint you that no meeting is possible between Mr. de 
Yalera and myself until he recognises that Northern 
Ireland will not submit to any authority other than his 
Majesty the King and the Parliament of the Unite,} 
Kingdom, and admits the sanctity of the existing powers 
and privileges of the Parliament and Government of 
Northern Ireland. In conclusion let me assure you that 
peara is as earnestly desired by my Government and my-elf 
as by you and yours, and that although we have nothing 
left to us to give away, we are prepared, when you and 
Mr. de Valera arrive at a satisfactory settlement, to 

204 IRELAND IN 1921. 

co-operate with Southern Ireland on equal terms for the 
future welfare of our common country. In order to avoid 
any misunderstanding or misrepresentation of our views I 
intend to publish this letter when your proposals are made 
public. Yours sincerely, JAMBS CRAIG." 

The publication of the Government's oSer caused 
considerable surprise in Ulster. It was stated that 
the terms were far too generous, and that they must 
express the very last inch of concession. It was 
felt, however, that the matter did not concern 
Ulster, and that the progress of the negotiations 
must be left to the British Government. But great 
annoyance was caused by the fact that the Sinn Fein 
boycott of Ulster was being redoubled at the very 
time when Mr. de Valera was appealing to her to 
abandon her attitude upon partition. On the 17th 
the Sinn Fein Minister of Labour stated in the 
Bail that as a direct result of the boycott more 
bankruptcies had taken place in Belfast than had 
ever been recorded previously. This statement was 
indignantly refuted by appeal to the statistics of the 
Courts, but that it should have been made at such a 
time was an indication of the hatred of Sinn Fein, 
and a strange commentary on Mr. de Valera's words 
of conciliation. 

Throughout the exchange of notes which followed 
Mr. de Valera's reply to the Prime Minister, Sir 
James Craig and his Government remained firm in 
their determination to treat with Sinn Fein only 
through the medium of the conference to which Mr. 
Lloyd George had invited both. In reply to a letter 
from a correspondent who urged upon him ' a 
tentative offer on the part of Ulster to sit in 
deliberation with the rest of Ireland," Sir James 
said : 


' This is provided for in a practical form in the 
Government of in-land A-t, I'.r.; ng a 

Cuiim-il ot In-huid t. wlii.-h tin- Parliament of Northern 
duly t? ! representatives, 

U ing one of the number. We relu< Accepted 

in the i: of peace and as a final settlement of 

ihc long-iiutstaiulintf difficulty with which Great Jin- 
has been confm -id now having- made that su< n 
we are busily engaged in ratifying "in- p;n*' of the solemn 
bargain. Yur tVars of 4 fuui- >u between fellow- 
Irishmen ' are unfounded so far as we are concerned, and 
he extent that we can control future events. Equally 
unfounded is your inference that * the domrstir link with 
England will be severed.' We have always aimed at th 
closest possible connection with Great Britain and the 
retention of our citizenship in the British Empire, of whi<-h 
we are proud to form a part." 

On August 29th fresh rioting broke out in 
Belfast between the rival factions, despite the 
utmost efforts of police and military to keep them 
apart. Two people were killed and twelve wounded, 
and the city immediately displayed signs that this 
was only the prelude to another period of strife. It 
is practically impossible to allocate the blame for 
these continued outbreaks. In a city where two 
bitterly opposed factions live in such close proximity, 
the smallest incident is sufficient to start stone 
throwing, which must rapidly develop into an inter- 
change of revolver shots and the hurling of bombs. 
Both sides have always declared that the other is to 
blame; the rival partisans are ready to deelare that 
the provocation came from their adversaries. The 
tendency was f<r the Northern Government to be 
criticised for the bloodshed in the streets of thru 
capital, but it must be remembered that at this 
time the provisions of the Ail handing over to them 
the responsihilit y tor law and order had not yet come 
into force. The police were still reserved to the 

206 IRELAND IN 1921. 

British Government, the troops could only be brought 
into action on the authority of their commanding 

On this particular occasion, whichever party may 
have been to blame originally, the Sinn Fein element 
took the offensive into their hands on the second day. 
Their snipers took up positions from which they 
could overlook the Protestant workers as they went 
to their work, and from these positions they poured 
a heavy fire into their enemies. During the day the 
authorities did their best to dislodge them, but as 
soon as they were driven out of one position they 
took up another. As the workmen returned home 
they were again subjected to a rain of fire, of which 
they had to run the gauntlet, with the result that six 
were killed and some fifty injured. 

The morning of the third day, August 31st, 
opened under exactly the same conditions. The 
snipers were to all intents and purposes in 
occupation of the city, and no Protestant could 
reach his place of employment without serious risk 
of being shot. It was evident that far more drastic 
steps would have to be taken to suppress the snipers 
if any sort of order was to be restored to the city. 
But the British officials were reluctant to take any 
steps which might endanger the truce. Already 
bitter comment had been made on the fact that 
though plenty of troops were available in the neigh- 
bourhood, very few had been drafted into Belfast. 
The Ulstermen, always suspicious, were ready to 
declare that the British Government cared nothing 
for the lives of the citizens of Belfast so long as the 
susceptibilities of Sinn Fein were not offended by 
any action on their part which might be construed 


as a breach of the truce. To some extent they were 
right, and the condition of the city was another 
example of the evils of hesitation which a firm 
policy might have checked at the start. The Lord 
Mayor of Belfast, Sir William Coates, called on 
the officer commanding the 15th Infantry Brigade, 
\N ho was the Competent Military Authority for the 
district, and also on the City Police Commissioner, 
in order to appeal for more vigorous measures to be 
taken. In the evening a conference was held 
between the Cabinet of Northern Ireland and the 
Lord Mayor on the one hand, and Mr. Cope, who 
had come from Dublin for the purpose, and the 
military and police chiefs on the other. As a result 
of this conference the troops in the city were 
reinforced, and sterner preventive measures were 
immediately taken. The unrest died down at once, 
and conditions in the city resumed their normal 
aspect. Strong pickets of soldiers lined the principal 
streets, and the workers were enabled to go to and 
from their employment with safety. But considerable 
indignation was expressed at the delay which 
had occurred before these measures were taken. 
The Lord Mayor, at a meeting of the Corporation 
on September 1st, made a reference to the general 
opinion of the loyalist section of the city, which was 
heartily applauded. He said that a very regrettable 
occurrence had disgraced the city during the past 
few days, and that the feeling on all sides was that 
the police did not take adequate steps to secure the 
safety of the population until the previous day. 
There could be no doubt that the Lord Mayor was 
correct in his statement. As soon as an adequate 
military force was posted in the city the disturbances 

208 IRELAND IN 1921. 

ceased, and it is hardly to the credit of the British 
authorities that these necessary steps were not taken 
until the riot had lasted three days and the casualty 
list had reached the appalling total of eighteen 
killed and over a hundred wounded. 

An interesting light was thrown upon the 
responsibility for the rioting by Mr. Eoin 0' Duffy, 
who on the conclusion of the outbreak made an 
official statement in his capacity of Liaison Officer 
for Northern Ireland. He said that after the 
refusal of the military and police to act, the 
situation on the morning of the 31st was such that 
he ordered the I.E. A. to take action for the 
protection of Catholics, as it was quite patent to 
everyone that the police authorities were conniving 
with the Orange mob. I.R.A. sentries were placed 
at vantage points in the city, and in a few hours 
made their presence felt. On the 1st, as the result 
of representations made to him, he ordered his 
troops to cease firing. This statement was not 
unnaturally taken as an admission of guilt on the 
part of the I.E. A., and a demand was immediately 
made that action should be taken against Mr. 
O'Duffy. But he was protected by the truce, his 
arrest would have been regarded by Sinn Fein as 
a breach of its terms, and once more the British 
authorities were helpless in face of the agreement 
they had made. Mr. O'Duffy remained at liberty, 
to make an even more surprising statement, which 
will be referred to later. 


On September 1st Mr. Lloyd George, who was 
spending a holiday in Scotland, arrived at Gairloch 
in Invernesshire. Owing to this fact, and to the 
likelihood that the state of the Irish negotiations 
would require further meetings on the part of 
Ministers, the majority of the Cabinet had also 
elected to take their holidays in Scotland, in order 
to be within call. On the very day of his arrival, 
Messrs. Barton and McGarth reached Scotland as 
the bearers of a message from the Dail to Mr. Lloyd 
George. This message, which was dated August 

h, and was in the form of a letter from Mr. de 
Valera, contained a reiteration of the contention 

t the Prime Minister had not offered Ireland true 
Dominion status, but something greatly inferior. 
The last paragraph, however, suggested a meeting of 

" The hre plenipotentiaries must meet un- 

trammelled by any conditions save the facts themselves, 
and must be prepared to reconcile their subseqi; 
differences not hy appeals to t ert or open, but by 

reference to some guiding principle on which there is 
common agreement. We have proposed the principle of 


210 IRELAND IN 1921. 

Government by consent of the governed, and do not mean 
it as a mere phrase. . . . That you claim it as a 
peculiarly British principle, instituted by Britain, and 
" now the very life of the British Commonwealth " should 
make it peculiarly acceptable to you. On this basis, and 
this only, we see a hope of reconciling * the considerations 
which must govern the attitude ' of Britain's representa- 
tives with the considerations which must govern the 
attitude of Ireland's representatives, and on this basis we 
are ready at once to appoint plenipotentiaries/' 

On receipt of this message, the Prime Minister 
summoned a meeting of the Cabinet at Inverness on 
September 7th. At this meeting it was resolved 
to ask for a definite reply from Mr. de Valera as to 
whether or not he was prepared to appoint repre- 
sentatives to discuss with the British Government 
the offer originally made, and, if the reply should 
be in the affirmative, to appoint a time and place for 
such discussions. The message conveying these 
resolutions is worth quoting in full. 

" His Majesty's Government have considered your 
letter of August 30th, and have to make the following 
observations upon it : 

" The principle of government by consent of the 
governed is the foundation of British constitutional develop- 
ment, but we cannot accept as a basis of practical conference 
an interpretation of that principle which would commit us 
to any demands which you might present, even to the extent 
of setting up a Republic and repudiating the Crown. You 
must be aware that conference on such a basis is impossible. 
So applied, the principle of government by consent of the 
governed would undermine the fabric of every democratic 
state and drive the civilised world back into tribalism. 

" On the other hand, we have invited you to discuss 
our proposals on their merits, in order that you may have 
no doubt as to the scope and sincerity of our intentions. 
It would be open to you in such a conference to raise the 
subject of guarantees on any points in which you may 
consider Irish freedom prejudiced by these proposals. 


" His Majesty's Government are loath to believe that 

you will insist upon rejecting their proposals without 
lining them in conference. To decline to discuss a 
lenient which would bestow upon the Irish people the 
fullest freedom of national development within the 
Kmpire can only mean that you repudiate all allegiance to 
th- down and all membership of the British Common- 
wealth. If we were to draw this inference from your 
r, then further discussion between us could serve no 
useful purpose and all conference would be vain. If, 
however, we are mistaken in this inference, as we still hope, 
and it your real object ion to our proposals is that tl 
offer Ireland 1 than the liberty which we have described., 
that objection can he explored at a conference. 

" You will agree that this correspondence has lasted 
long- enough. His Majesty's Government must, therefore, 
ask for a definite reply as to whether you are prepared to 
enter a conference to ascertain how the association of 
1 1 eland with the community of nations known as the British 
Empire can best be reconciled with Irish national 
aspirations. If, as we hope, your answer is in the 
affirmative, I suggest that the conference should meet at 
Inverness on the 'JOth inst." 

This was, in effect an ultimatum in a mild form. 
It was natural that British opinion should be 
becoming impatient at the circumlocution of Mr. de 
Valera and the Dail, but there were good reasons 
why a stronger line should not be taken with them. 
In the first place, many people, including the Chief 
Secretary, had always been of the opinion that the 
first step in Ireland towards ultimate peace must be 
directed touards securing a cessation of the murder 
of members of the Crown Forces rather than towards 
securing any permanent political agreement. The 
murders had ceased with the truce, but it was certain 
that they would break out again at the first symptom 
of this truce being threatened. The longer the truce 
endured, the more likely it was that the good sense 
of the country would organise to prevent hostilities 

212 IRELAND IN 1921. 

again. Therefore, for this reason, a prolongation 
of negotiations was not an unfavourable circum- 
stance. On the other hand, the truce was only 
intended as the device of a moment, and it was very 
necessary that it should be replaced as soon as 
possible by some more precise arrangement. As 
matters stood in Ireland, no form of government 
was in practical operation. The Crown Forces 
were restrained by the uncertainty of their position 
under the truce, and by the knowledge that the 
Government would fail to support them in any 
action, however proper and justifiable, which would 
result in a threat by Sinn Fein to break off 
negotiations. The longer Ireland remained an 
administrative no - man's - land, in which every 
individual was free to interpret the law as he 
pleased, without much fear of punishment, the more 
difficult it would be to enforce order for any 
permanent Government which might eventually 
secure the reins. 

There was another consideration .which weighed 
very heavily with the Government. The eyes of 
the world, and especially those of America, were 
upon the conduct of the negotiations. Both sides 
were to a large extent ' playing to the gallery. ' If, 
as many people believed at the time, the negotiations 
must fail and war ensue, blame for their failure 
would fall upon the side that took the initiative in 
bringing the negotiations to a conclusion. The 
Prime Minister had at all times been peculiarly 
sensitive to American opinion; at this moment, with 
the Disarmament Conference looming in the future, 
he was doubly so. The net result was that the 
Government were prepared to endure a certain 


measure of the humiliation which must attach to 
the continuance of the battle of words and phraaes 
uitli Mr. de Valera, as an alternative to the risk 
attending a firm intimation that he must consent to 
a conference or takr the consequences. 

Before dealing with the reception of the 
Inverness Cabinet's letter by the Dail, it will be as 
well to deal with the attitude of the Sinn Fein 
leaders subsequent to Mr. de Valera 's letter of 
August 30th. Mr. Collins, who, having secured one 
of the seats for County Armagh in the elections for 
the Northern Parliament, described himself as the 
member for County Armagh in the Dail, addressed 
his constituents on September 4th at the town of 
Armagh, where, as it happened, most of the Sinn 
Feiners in the constituency lived. His speech 
naturally dealt with the two essential difficulties, 
allegiance and partition. In regard to the first he 

" You will have read of the English offer. You will 
have read all the correspondence which passed between the 
two Governments with regard to the terms themselves. I 
little to add to what has been said in our letters to the 
British Government. These terms are not acceptable to 
us. They do not give us the substance of freedom." 

In regard to the second, he warned Ulster that 
the South would shortly achieve its freedom, and 
pointed out what this freedom would involve. 

It is obvious that an artificial excuse is being made 
of the existence of the Northern Parliament to keep 
Ireland asunder. There, again, is England using the 
Orangemen for her own interests, and the interests of the 
Orangemen have never been the same as those of England. 
The Orangemen have been used as a tool in preventing up 
to the present what is now inevitable. The moment is near 
when they will no longer be of use as a tool when they 
will, in fact, stand in the way of an agreement with 

214 IRELAND IN 1921. 

Ireland, which has now become essential to British 
interests. Then they will be thrown aside, and they will 
find their eyes turned to an England which no longer wants 
them. I say freedom is coming, and nobody can stop it. 
With this freedom Ireland is on the verge of an era of 
prosperity and development. We see ahead growing 
industries, improved agriculture, increasing wealth. Are 
those counties really going to deprive themselves of the 
benefit of economic association with the new Ireland? Sir 
James Craig has said that he is responsible for peace in 
Northern Ireland. In Ireland to-day there is peace 
everywhere except in the domain of his Parliament. Our 
proposal is, as I have said, that they should come in. We 
can afford to give them even more than justice. We can 
afford to be generous. That is our message to the North, 
and it is meant for those who are opposed to us rather than 
for those who are with us. But to those who are with us 
I can say that no matter what happens, no matter what the 
future may bring, we shall not desert them. The 
Parliament, in its doomed building, does not, or cannot, 
control its unruly element, and already that doomed 
building is shaking. " 

It is interesting to compare Mr, Collins' speech 
with certain statements made by Mr. de Valera in 
reply to the question whether or not he had a 
'will to peace.' Mr. Collins was jbo some extent 
prophetic, and his predictions of the future were 
practical and largely justified by the events. Mr. 
de Valera, though consistent, was as usual utterly 
unpractical, and invoked the shade of circumstance 
rather than circumstance itself. A single extract 
from a long statement will suffice as illustration. 

" Peace will never be founded on make-believe. Let 
us tear aside the camouflage, and put away the hypocrisy. 
If England is issuing an ultimatum, let it be an ultimatum. 
Brute force, naked and unabashed, has been used against 
small nations before. Our nation has known it for long. 
The present generation, even our little children, have 
experienced it, and no pretence will hide a threat of force 
from being recognised for what it is. England has no 
basis in right for a single one of the demands she is making- 


upon Ireland. She would not dare to make them to a 
Power even nearly as strong as herself. They are made to 
us simply because it is felt that H 

to enforce them, and that Ireland is too weak to resist 
successfully. '1 the naked truth, and it is useless 

Miptm-r to hide it, for a peace secured in these 
( irciiinstiiiiccs would have no one's slightest respect. 

iiinly no Iri.-hiiian \\nuld !<! l.oiind by any arrange- 
ment thus arrived at. With this background of force war, 
not peace, would surely be the outcome." 

But the most astonishing pronouncement on the 
situation was that of Mr. Eoin O'Duffy, who 
spoke of Mr. Collins' meeting at Armagh. This 

tlt'inan, who, it will be remembered, held the post 
of liaison officer for the I.R.A. in Ulster, made a 
violent attaek upon the Unionists of the North : 

" These people are standing as a bridgehead for th 
British Government in this country. So far as these 
people are concerned they should have an opportunity very 
soon of declaring whether they are for Ireland or the 
British Empire. If they are for Ireland we will extend 
the hand of welcome as we have done in the past. If they 
decide that they are against Ireland and against their 
fellow-countrymen we will have to take suitable action. 
We will IKW to put on the screw. The boycott of Bel: 
we will tighten ' -w, and, if necessary, we will 

havt the lead against them." 

These words, coming from the man who was 
responsible for the whole policy of the I.R.A. in 
Ulster, r a used great indignation in the North, and 
were considered inadvisable even by the more ardent 
of the Sinn Fein leaders. Mr. O'Duffy was removed 
from his post in Ulster and received an appointment 
in Cork, where his spevehes would not be so likely to 
bring retribution upon his supporters. 

An incident, instruetive not because it was the 
first or the last of similar neeurrences, but because 
it throws a light upon the attitude of that section 

216 IRELAND IN 1921. 

of Irishmen who followed the teaching of Mr. 
Cathal O'Shannon occurred about this time. This 
incident has already been referred to (page 156), but 
a slightly fuller account may not be out of place. 
On September 2nd the employees of the Cork 
Harbour Board struck work on the refusal of the 
Board to grant them a certain minimum wage. On 
the 6th they proclaimed a Soviet, and took over the 
management of the port. They began collecting 
dues, and expressed the intention of carrying on as 
before, paying themselves the wage they demanded 
out of the monies they collected. Unfortunately for 
their intentions, trade completely deserted the port, 
and ships used competing harbours, such as Water- 
ford. In the end the strikers were glad to abide by 
the arbitration of the Bail Ministry of Labour. 

The Dail Cabinet was undoubtedly influenced in 
its answer to the Prime Minister's last note by the 
almost universal desire expressed in Ireland that a 
conference should be held. Without outside 
influence, there is no doubt that at this particular 
stage the extremist party would have carried the 
day, and a defiant answer, leaving no alternative to 
war, would have been sent. All reports received by 
British Ministers pointed to this, and there was no 
doubt that Sinn Fein as a party would stand by 
whatever message the Dail sent. The days when a 
split in the Dail was possible were not yet. But, 
reinforced by the universal demand of the Irish 
Press and nation, the moderate party was the 
stronger. Even such a paper as the Independent 
had said " Nomenclature does not now count so 
much as a scheme which in substance and reality 
gives Ireland control of all her own affairs. We 


trust the conference will be held. The Bail's 
methods were therefore based on caution. They 
sent Messrs. Boland and Mdirath to Gairloch with 
their letter, and instructions to inform Mr. Lloyd 
George of the substance of its contents and secure his 
opinion upon them. These envoys arrived at 
(iairloch on the 13th, and after an interview with 
the Prime Minister returned to Dublin, leaving the 
letter with Mr. Lloyd George, who agreed to 
disregard it should the Bail so desire after the 
return of their envoys. But on the 15th Mr. de 
Valera decided to publish the letter in the original 
form. An extract from it will be sufficient to make 
its purport clear. 

' We have no hesitation in declaring- our willingness 
to enter a conference to ascertain how the association of 
Ireland with the community of nations known as the 
British Empire can best be reconciled with Irish national 
aspirations. . . . We have accordingly summoned Dail 
Eireann that we may submit to it for ratification the 
names of the representatives it is our intention to propose. 
We hope that tnese representatives will find it possible to 
be at Inverness on the date you sug-gest, September 20th." 

So far so good, and had the note concluded with 
this consent without further qualification, the 
conference could have met. But the Dail Cabinet, 
fearful of the extremists' warning that upon the 
meeting of the Dail they would declare that Ireland 
had been betrayed, and that the representatives 
\\ould l>o accredited to a conference at which 
Ireland's rights had been surrendered beforehand, 
dared not refrain from once more stating its 
position. The note continued : 

41 In fli is final note we doom it our duty to reaffirm that 
our position is, and only can be, as we have defino<i 
throughout this correspondence. Our nation has formally 

218 IRELAND IN 1921. 

declared its independence, and recognises itself as a 
sovereign State. It is only as the representatives of that 
State, and as its chosen guardians, that we have any 
authority or powers to act on behalf of our people/' 

Here Mr. de Valera, against his better judgment, 
perhaps, was led into the trap which he himself had 
been the first to point out in a letter to one of the 
very men who carried the note to Gairloch (see page 
217). It was already practically certain that if the 
power of the Dail to negotiate on the British 
Government's terms were challenged, and a new 
Dail elected on the issue of negotiation or war, the 
result would be the defeat of the Republican party, 
if anything like a free election could be secured. 
The Dail Cabinet also made itself look somewhat 
ridiculous by the assertion that Ireland " recognised 
herself ' ' as a Sovereign State, emphasising the fact 
that no other nation did so. Mr. Lloyd George 
replied by telegram to the publication of this 
letter, expressing surprise that the objectionable 
paragraph, of which he had warned the envoys, had 
not been removed. His telegram continued : 

" I must accordingly cancel the arrangements for 
conference next week at Inverness, and must consult my 
colleagues on the course of action which this new situation 
necessitates. I will communicate this to you as soon as 
possible, but as I am for the moment laid up here, a few 
days' delay is inevitable. " 

To this Mr. de Valera replied, also by telegram, 
in a spirit of injured astonishment that Mr. Lloyd 
George did not realise that if Ireland entered 
the conference without previously defining her 
position, her right would thereby be " irreparably 
prejudiced." A wave of consternation swept over 
both England and Ireland at this seeming deadlock. 


It appeared for the moment that negotiations had 
definitely broken down But during the next few 
days an intense telegraphic bombardment on both 
sides did something to restore confidence. So long 
as vi<-\ss mm mued to be exchanged there were 
grounds for hope. 

On the 17th Mr. Lloyd George telegraphed to 
Mr. de Valera, pointing out the impossibility of a 
miitVrenro between the British Government and the 
representatives of a Sovereign State, as this in itself 
would be an admission of Ireland's severance from 
the Empire, and reasserting that insistence upon 
this point would make conference impossible. 

On the same day Mr. de Valera replied to the 
effect that Mr. Lloyd George was inconsistent. 

14 I have already had conference with you, and in 
these conferences and in my written commun legations I have 
never ceased to recognise myself for what I was, and am. 
If this involves recognition on your part, then you have 
gnised us. ... Believe me to have but one 
object at heart, the setting of the conference on such a 
basis of truth and reality as would make it possible to 

.!< thrmiLrh it the result which the people of these two 
islands so ardently desire." 

To this Mr. Lloyd George replied on the 18th, 
pointing out that he had met Mr. de Valera as " the 

son leader of the great majority in Southern 
Ireland." " I am prepared to meet your delegates 
as I met you in July, in the capacity of * chosen 
spokesmen ' for your people to discuss the associa- 
tion of Ireland with the British Commonwealth." 

On the next day, Mr. de Valera replied in a 
telegram which was the result of a meeting of the 
Bail ('al'iiiet, in whirh the more moderate party 
succeeded in demonstrating the danger of going too 

220 IRELAND IN 1921. 

far. They had been warned that insistence upon 
recognition of the Irish delegates as representatives 
of a Sovereign State must result in the breaking off 
of negotiations and a resumption of hostilities. 
The secret liaison system between them and the 
British Government via Dublin Castle was now 
complete, and a virtual ultimatum could be conveyed 
to them without the observance of official forms. 
The Dail Cabinet, faced with this knowledge that 
further obstinacy meant war, decided to take a more 
temperate line. The telegram was as follows : 

" We have had no thought at any time of asking you 
to accept any conditions precedent to a conference. We 
have thought it as unreasonable to expect you, as a 
preliminary, to recognise the Irish Republic, formally or 
informally, as that you should expect us, formally or 
informally, to surrender our national position. 

"It is precisely because neither side accepts the 
position of the other that there is a dispute at all, and that 
a conference is necessary to search for and to discuss 
such adjustments as might compose it. A treaty of 
accommodation and association properly concluded between 
the peoples of these two islands, and between Ireland and 
the group of States in the British Commonwealth, would, 
we believe, end the dispute for ever and enable the two 
nations to settle down in peace, each pursuing its own 
individual development and contributing its own quota to 
civilisation, but working together in free and friendly 
co-operation in affairs of agreed common concern. 

" To negotiate such a treaty the respective representa- 
tives of the two nations must meet. If you seek to impose 
preliminary conditions which we must regard as involving 
a surrender of our whole position they cannot meet. Your 
last telegram makes it clear that misunderstandings are 
more likely to increase than to dimmish and the cause of 
peace more likely to be retarded than advanced by a 
continuance of the present correspondence. 

" We request you, therefore, to state whether your 
letter of September 7th is intended to be a demand for a 
surrender on our part or an invitation to a conference free 
on both sides and without prejudice should an agreement 


not be reached. 1 r, we readily confirm 

accej)(;iiH < ot the in\ itution, and our appointed delegate* 
will meet your Government's representatives at any time in 
the immediate future that you designate." 

To this telegram Mr. Lloyd George did not reply 
at once, wisely deciding to let its more pacific tone 
produce its effect in Ireland. Although the Cabinet 
as a whole did not perhaps trouble much about the 
details of Irish affairs, and concerned itself mainly 
with broad outlines, it was dimly aware that two 
schools of thought were evolving among the leaders 
of Sinn Fein, who had hitherto sunk their differences 
in furtherance of a common policy. English 
officials had often classed individuals in the Sinn 
Fein movement as more or less advanced in their 
views, a useless and usually incorrect classification 
while hostilities lasted. But this unity, which had 
stood the strain of war, could not stand the strain 
of peace. Although the members of the Bail 
Cabinet remained on perfectly friendly terms with 
one another, and had between them private under- 
standings which were not apparent in their official 
relations, they now began to be divided on the 
question whether or not it was desirable to force a 
fight to a finish on the technical issue of a Republic. 
Mr. de Valera, supported by such men as 
Brngha, the Minister of Defence, in the Cabinet, 
and by the fanatical element in the country, 
W;LS bitterly opposed to any retraction from the 
Republican attitude. lie himself was sincerely 
convinced that anything less would be merely a 
decently veiled form of the English domination 
of Ireland; his followers were {>ossibly not quite 
so disinterested in their outlook. On the other 

222 IRELAND IN 1921. 

hand, Mr. Griffith, the founder of the original 
Sinn Fein party, was by now convinced that the 
republican ideal was not possible of achievement 
through the present negotiations. Mr. Collins, and 
with him the older men of the I.R.A., knew that if 
it came to war, the final victory must necessarily 
rest with the British troops. These men were 
inclined to accept the British offer, and to 
endeavour to extend it until they had secured the 
very utmost that England was prepared to concede. 
The peace party, as we may call them, had no idea 
of regarding any settlement upon these lines as a 
permanent one. But they were beginning to realise 
that from the Union to a Republic was a far political 
journey, and that Dominion status was a long step 
in the desired direction. And the peace party, 
which had already secured the selection of a majority 
of delegates to a conference, should such be held, 
employed their utmost efforts to produce a demand 
for the holding of the conference among the Press 
and people of Ireland. 

Mr. Griffith himself, in the course of an inter- 
view on the 24th, declared that at no time had the 
Sinn Fein leaders asked the British Government to 
recognise the Sovereign State claim as a preliminary 
to conference. He understood a conference to be an 
occasion for an exchange of views, and that the only 
thing that mattered was the final agreement. On 
the same day, Mr. Churchill, speaking at Dundee, 
gaid : " No mere pedantry or hair-splitting, no 
quibbling about words and phrases, will be allowed 
by us to stand in the way of practical steps to 

It was not until the 29th that Mr. Lloyd George 


n snmed the correspondence. On that date he 
telegraphed to Mi <le Valera as follows: 

" Sir, His Majesty's Government have given close and 
earnest consideration to the correspondence which has 
passed between us since their invitation to you to send 
delegates to at Inverness. 

' I n spite of their sincere desire for peace, and in spite 
of the more conciliatory tone of your last communication, 
they cannot enter a conference upon the basis of thi.s 
correspondence. Notwithstanding your personal assurance 
t<> tin* contrary, which they much appreciate, it might be 
argued in future that the m < -eptunce of a conference on 
this basis had involved them in a recognition which no 
.British Government can accord. 

" On this point they must guard themselves against 
any possible doubt . There is no purpose to be served by 
any further interchange of explanatory and argumentative 
roinmuiiif -at ions upon this subject. The position taken up 
by his Majesty's Government is fundamental to the 
existence of the British Empire, and they cannot alter it . 

11 My colleagues and I remain, however, keenly 
anxious to make, in co-operation with your delegates, 
another determined effort to explore every possibility of 
settlement by personal discussion. The proposals which we 
have already made have been taken by the whole world as 
proof that our endeavours for reconciliation and settlement 
are no empty form ; and we feel that conference, not 
correspondence, is the most practical and hopeful way to 
an understanding such as we ardently desire to achieve. 

" We therefore send herewith a fresh invitation to a 
conference in London on October llth, where we can meet 
your delegates, as spokesmen of the people whom you 
represent, with a view to ascertaining how the association 
of Ireland with the community of nations known as th 
lliitish Kinpiiv may best be reconciled with Irish national 

The last paragraph of this note contains the 
final definition of the British Government of the 
purpose of the conference and the status of the 
delegates who should attend it. This definition 
left no loophole for any pretence on the part of the 
Sum Fein leaders that the issue of the conference 

224 IRELAND IN 1921. 

could be a Republic, or that their representatives 
were those of a Sovereign State. But the peace 
party in Dublin had gained sufficient ground to 
enable them to insist on an acceptance by the Dail 
Cabinet of the British Government's invitation, 
without a reaffirmation of the Republican position 
which would render this acceptance tantamount to 
a refusal. Mr. de Valera replied as follows : 

" Sir, We have received your letter of invitation to 
a conference in London on October llth with a view to 
ascertaining how the association of Ireland with the 
community of nations known as the British Empire may 
best be reconciled with Irish national aspirations. 

lt Our respective positions have been stated and 
are understood, and we agree that conference, not 
correspondence, is the most practical and hopeful way to 
an understanding. We accept the invitation, and our 
delegates will meet you in London on the date mentioned 
to explore every possibility of settlement by personal 
discussion. " 

Mr. de Valera had satisfied himself with the 
phrase " our respective positions have been stated 
and are understood," which was capable of diverse 
interpretation according to whether the word 
* understood ' was applied severally or mutually. 
The British Government was content to accept 
it in the former sense, and the way lay open 
to a conference. But, during the period of 
correspondence, the basis of the conference had 
insensibly altered. The Prime Minister's original 
invitation had been addressed to both Mr. de 
Valera and Sir James Craig, and had been to a 
joint conference to explore to the uttermost the 
possibilities of a settlement in Ireland. This 
invitation had been accepted by Sir James Craig 
but refused by Mr. de Valera, whose position as 
representative of the great majority of the Irish 


people would have been compromised by meeting 
Mr. Lloyd George on equal terms with Sir .James. 

The original invitation had now been allowed to 
lapse, and a conference was about to open between 
thf Hritisli (invernment and the Sinn Fein delegates 
in which Ulster was to have no part. If the 
conference were to be strictly confined to securing 
a settlement between Great Britain and Southern 
Ireland as defined by the Government of Ireland 
Act, this was in every way right and proper, and 
had the approval of Ulster, whose leaders had 
already declared their intention of standing aside 
from such a settlement. But should the conference 
ai^ree to any measure which would in any way affect 
the position of Ulster as defined by the Act, this 
would be a breach of faith with the Northern 
Government which no consideration of expediency 
could palliate or excuse. The Northern Government 

ived its jurisdiction and its powers from an Act 
of Parliament which had duly become law, and this 
jurisdiction could not be curtailed, nor these powers 
limited, without the consent of Ulster, and under 
no circumstances by simple agreement between 
delegates from Southern Ireland and the British 
Government respectively, even though siu-h 
ment should subsequently be ratified by Parliament. 

Ulster was already becoming impatient at the 
delay eaused by the negotiations. The provisions 
of the Act could not be put into force until some 
settlement was come to in the South. During the 

itiations the Act was suspended in the air. The 

regime was practically, it' not in theory, at an 
end. The Southern Parliament could not show the 
necessary number of members who were prepared to 


226 IRELAND IN 1921. 

take the oath, but the Lord Lieutenant could not 
take the necessary steps to dissolve it and appoint 
a legislative Assembly in its stead, as such an 
act would have immediately terminated the 

In the meanwhile, the Bail was functioning 
openly and governing the country by its edicts : a 
situation which the Act had never contemplated. 
It was not possible to apply the Act in Ulster and 
repeal it in the South. The result was that the 
Northern Government found itself in a position of 
ineffectiveness through no fault of its own. Ulster, 
much against her will, had consented to the breaking 
of the Union. Her reward was to find herself in 
an impossible and ambiguous position, neither a 
part of Great Britain nor free to develop along the 
lines which the Act had foreshadowed. The 
liberty she had been promised as the reward of her 
acquiescence, and whose coming birth had been so 
loudly proclaimed by British politicians, was still- 
born, and the heart of Ulster was bitter accordingly. 

The Northern Parliament met on September 
20th, at a time when the negotiations were in 
suspense and the British Cabinet were considering 
the form which their final offer to the Sinn 
Fein leaders should take. The Sinn Fein and 
Nationalist members had boycotted the Parliament, 
to use their own expression, and the House of 
Commons contained only Unionist members, who 
were obviously deeply concerned at the position of 
affairs while anxious to say nothing which might 
compromise the position of the Six Counties. In a 
statement on the situation Sir James Craig said 
that at the time of the adjournment of the House 


in June he expected that when they reassembled the 
full machinery of government would be in their 
hands. The invitation to a conference issued by 
Mr. Lloyd George to the representatives of Sinn 
Fein and to himself was as great a surprise to him 
as to any member of the House. They thought that, 
failing the functioning of the Southern Parliament, 
Crown Colony government would be established 
within a reasonable time, which he interpreted to 
mean weeks, and not months. With the advice of 
his Ministers he had concluded to accept Mr. Lloyd 
George's invitation. By refusing they would have 
risked a settlement behind their backs. Further, 
Sinn Fein might have taken a refusal by Ulster as 
a model for their own answer. But the supreme 
consideration which had determined him to accept 
NN as that Ulster had nothing of which to be ashamed, 
and a good cause which she was prepared to discuss 
at any time. The Northern Parliament could not 
modify its position, nor did it wish to enlarge upon 
the terms it had laid down. Ulster had determined 
land aside while the British Government and the 
tives of Sinn Fein endeavoured to reach 
some settlement, and they had adhered loyally to 
that determination. He believed that their action 
had been fully justified, and that feeling across the 
Channel in favour of the people of Ulster was better 
than at any time in the political history of the 
country. Everything pointed to the fact that Sinn 
Fein was better understood than ever before, and 
that the Imperial attitude of Ulster had penetrated 
even to the densest brains. In years past the 
invariable criticism was that Ulster blocked the 
way to peace. Now Ulster stood aside, and the 

228 IRELAND IN 1921. 

British Government had to come face to face with 
the republicans and rebels and bear upon its 
shoulders the Imperial responsibility. Ulster by 
her sacrifice in accepting the Government of Ireland 
Act had gone to the very furthest limit in meeting 
the difficulties with which Great Britain was faced. 
How the situation would work out no man could say, 
for with such conflicting interests it was impossible 
to forecast even for one day the progress of the 
negotiations. But there should be no further delay 
in bringing the last Orders in Council into force so 
that Ulster could grip the reins of government and 
get on with the business. 

Some members referred to the activities of the 
gunmen, and in reply to a question as to whose was 
the responsibility for the maintenance of law and 
order, Sir James said that the duty rested entirely 
on the British authorities under the Government of 
Ireland Act. The control of the police would be 
transferred to the Northern Parliament within three 
years. Members of the Cabinet had met the Lord 
Mayor and the military and police authorities in an 
advisory capacity, and their united efforts would be 

One member made a bitter complaint of the 
inactivity of the British Government. He said that 
the average Sinn Feiner imagined that he had beaten 
the British Government to its knees. But that 
Government had in reality never started to operate. 
The Irish people should realise that, patient and 
tolerant as Great Britain always was, there was a 
limit to tolerance, and that the time might come 
when the British people would take in hand the 
restoration of order in Ireland, and would carry it 


out as effectively as they had always carried out any 
serious undertaking in the pa The Sinn Feiners 
\\ere playing on the tolerance of the British 
Government, and on the tolerance of the people of 
Ulster as well. The moment the truce had been 
announced, there had been an intensified campaign 
in Ulster. Gunmen had been imported during July 
and August, together with large quantities of arms 
and ammunition. At the time he spoke there were 
large Sinn Fein camps over the Six Counties, where 
all kinds of military exercises, including bomb- 
throwing, were indulged in. Was there any other 
Government save the Government in Dublin Castle 
that would tolerate that sort of thing? 

These facts were not exaggerated, and were 
hardly in dispute. During the very week that the 
above speech was made the military authorities 
reported " Camps are being formed in Ulster, at 

forde, Castlewellan, and Torr Head. The 
object of these camps is probably twofold. Firstly 
to extend the influence of Sinn Fein and secondly to 
provoke Ulster as much as possible." In the 
following week the same authority reported " The 
I.R.A. camps all over Ulster are causing general 
irritation, unrest, and a sense of insecurity." But 
stringent orders were issued by the Government of 
Dublin Castle that no measures were to be taken to 
disperse these camps. The " general irritation, 
unrest, and sense of insecurity " of Ulster could not 

:1 lowed to interfere with the policy of smoothing 

Sinn Fein the path which led to the conference 

This is not the place to discuss the merits or 
demerits of such a policy, we need only notice the 

230 IRELAND IN 1921. 

effects it produced, which were, in Ulster, a 
profound distrust of the intentions of the British 
Government, and among the Forces of the Crown a 
settled conviction that a " hidden hand ' was 
deliberately frustrating their efforts to keep order 
and to protect the loyalist population. A single 
instance of the existence of this feeling among the 
military authorities will suffice. During the first 
week in October the Officer in Command of a district 
in County Cork received a letter giving particulars 
of the persecution of the loyalists in the neighbour- 
hood by the I.E. A. The letter concluded " Why 
not visit the place and see? What are the R.I.C. 
doing? In God's name come and do something! ' 
The officer referred this letter to headquarters, with 
the following covering note: " I attach hereto a 
copy of an anonymous letter received on the 1st 
October. This letter has been shown to the local 
D.I. (District Inspector), R.I.C., but apparently no 
action has resulted beyond the making of a report to 
higher police authority. As far as I can gather 
the police in this district have practically ceased to 
function, apparently on the orders of a Mr. Cope of 

Before dealing with the sittings of the 
Conference in London, it will be necessary to make 
brief reference to the delegates appointed to attend 
it. The Dail Cabinet had chosen its delegates at a 
very early stage in the negotiations, and this choice 
was ratified at a Dail meeting on September 14th. 
In the words of the Sinn Fein official announcement : 
' In view of a possible conference with representa- 
tives of the British Government, the following 
delegation of plenipotentiaries was unanimously 


ratified. " This wording is important, for reasons 
which will appear later, The delegation consisted 
of Messrs. Arthur (iriilith (Chairman), Michael 
Collins, R. C. Barton, E. J. Du^r ad George 

Gavan Din Of these, Mr. Griffith was the 
founder of Sinn Fein, and was universally 

sidered to be the luain of the movement. He 
had been elected " Vice-President of the Republic ' 
: n 1917 through the efforts of the moderate section of 
Sinn Fein, who desired a counterpoise to the more 
erne de Valera. He occupied the post of 
Minister for Foreign Affairs in the Dail Cabinet. 
Mr. Michael Collins, who had already shown signs 
of capacity for leadership in difficult situations, 
had for some time past duplicated the posts of 
Minister of Finance in the Dail Cabinet, and 
Adjutant General of the I.R.A. Mr. Barton was 
Minister of Economic Affairs and a Commandant of 
the I.R.A. Mr. Duggan held no office in the 
ministry, but was one of the members for the 
Constituency of Meath and Louth in the Dail. Since 
the truce he had been appointed chief liaison officer, 
in which capacity he represented the I.R.A. in their 
dealings with the British authorities. Mr. (iavan 
Duffy was one of the members for Dublin County in 
the Dail, and Sinn Fein Envoy at Rome. His chief 
daim to fame was that he had defended Casement 
in 1916. 

Some surprise was evinced at the time that Mr. 
de Valera was not included in the delegation. The 

son for his exclusion is to be found in his own 

rorrespondence with the Prime Minister. He 

u r iiised himself," in his own words, as 

President of the Irish Republic, and from his point 

232 IRELAND IN 1921. 

of view it was impossible that the President of a 
Republic should attend a conference where the very 
existence of that Republic would be in question. 
There is no doubt that even at this stage the 
constitution of the delegation caused him some 
uneasiness. Messrs. Griffith and Collins were 
known to favour the abandonment of the Republic 
if sufficiently favourable terms could be secured. 
The extent to which the three remaining members 
might be influenced in conference with trained 
politicians was doubtful. Among the entourage of 
the delegation accompanying them to London the 
only man he could count upon with absolute certainty 
was Erskine Childers, an Englishman who had 
adopted Sinn Fein as a hobby. Mr. de Valera felt 
that his wisest course was to remain in Ireland in 
order to counteract any lukewarmness towards the 
Republican ideal which might result from national 
delight at the improved prospects of peace. 

The British delegation consisted of the Prime 
Minister, Mr. Austen Chamberlain (Lord Privy 
Seal), Viscount Birkenhead (Lord Chancellor, who 
as Mr. F. E. Smith had been prominent in Irish 
affairs in 1914), Mr. Churchill (Secretary for the 
Colonies), Sir Laming Worthington-Evans (Secre- 
tary for War), and Sir Hamar Greenwood (Chief 
Secretary for Ireland). Sir Gordon Hewart, the 
Attorney General, would, it was announced, be a 
member of the conference when Constitutional 
questions were under discussion. 


From the moment of Mr. de Valera's acceptance 
of the Prime Minister's invitation to a conference, 
one thing at least was certain, that success or failure 
depended upon two points, and two points only 
allegiance and partition. No doubt existed that 
the conference would find means of adjusting such 
matters as the financial arrangements between the 
two countries, or the arrangements for the defence 
and policing of Ireland. There was no vital 
disagreement upon these matters, and nothing that 
hindered compromise upon them. But the attitudes 
of the two parties upon allegiance and partition 
were diametrically opposed, and failure to agree 
upon either meant failure of the whole conference 
and in all probability a renewal of hostilities. 

The lush delegates had not only taken the 
oath of allegiance to the Republic, but they had 
subscribed to the Constitution of Sinn Fein,* which 
contains the statement " Sinn Fein aims at securing 
the International recognition of Ireland as an 
Independent Irish Republic." This statement was 

i (firmed at a meeting of Ard Fheis (the supreme 
council of Sinn Fein) during the actual period of 

* See Note D in Appendix. 

234 IRELAND IN 1921. 

negotiation. The whole tradition of the Sinn Fein 
movement since 1916 had been the establishment of 
a Republic of the whole of Ireland, and at this very 
time the Dail Ministry " recognised themselves ' 
as governing such a Republic. It was obvious that 
any recession from this standpoint would be hailed 
as a betrayal by the extreme body of Sinn Fein and 
by the members of the Irish Republican Brother- 
hood, who had sworn an additional oath to the heads 
of their own organisation, and who would not feel 
themselves bound by any surrender on the part of 
delegates not appointed by that organisation. 

That the delegates themselves hoped to secure 
any such terms as could be construed into 
independence and unity is not likely. As a whole 
they represented that section of Irish opinion which 
desired peace beyond all things, either for the 
development of Ireland's prosperity or because they 
knew that success was not to be attained by recourse 
to arms. It is probable that from the first they 
intended to accept a settlement which would 
entail their acceptance of allegiance and partition, 
although such an intention had never been revealed 
in the most secret session of the Dail Cabinet. But, 
at the same time, they meant to make this surrender 
as easy as possible for themselves, and to bring back 
to their supporters in Ireland such fruits of freedom 
as would sweeten the draught of their disappoint- 
ment. According to the letter of their oath and of 
the Constitution, they would have betrayed Sinn 
Fein. But they knew that a large section of the 
party and of the Dail had at last learned to look 
beyond the narrow circle of idealism and make- 
believe towards the larger horizon of practical 


polities. The success of their endeavour depended 
upon the strength of this section, which could be 
relied upon to support any settlement which would 
bring peace and self-government to the South. 'I 
argument that this s* ttlement was only intended as 
a step towards the eventual establishment of the 
Republic could then be thrown as a sop to the 
oncilables The rigid Republicans might 
denounce them, but there was no doubt that the 
country would support them if it were given the 

It must not be supposed that the Irish delegates 
entered the Conference with this intention as a cut- 
and-dried programme, or that it had been openly 
discussed among them. It was rather an intention 
which the only two delegates who really mattered 
Messrs. Collins and Griffith held more or less 

vtly, and from rather different motives. Mr. 
Griffith had seen the Sinn Fein ship, which, under 
his guid;i had been steadily sailing a 

predetermined course towards a distant but not 
unattainable port, boarded by the far 1 
e\[)erienced navigators of the I.R.B. and the 

msport Workers, and steered by dead -reckoning 
for a harbour not marked upon the chart 
possibility. He knew that the only method of 
getting the ship back upon her true course was the 
tnce of a settlement, which would eventually 
result in the helm being entrusted once more to 
himself or to those who would submit to his pilota 

Mr. Collins' outlook was somewhat different 
As Adjutant General of the I.R.A. he knew very 
well that in a declared war the I.R.A. had no chance 
of defeating the British Forces, and that, after a 

236 IRELAND IN 1921. 

period of truce, the country, upon which his troops 
had hitherto lived, would refuse to support them 
if the inhabitants were assured of adequate 
protection against their revenge. Surrender would 
be inevitable sooner or later, and surrender in the 
guise of the acceptance of a settlement promised 
more favourable terms than could be obtained by 
surrender subsequent to defeat in the field. The 
rank and file might believe that they had defeated 
the British Army already and could do so again, 
and might therefore be opposed to a settlement 
which denied them the objects for which they had 
fought. But Mr. Collins was aware that their 
leaders knew the truth as well as he did himself, 
and he relied on their influence to retain the loyalty 
of the majority, at least. 

But it was essential, if the majority of the Sinn 
Fein party were to be won to acceptance of the 
only status for Ireland that the conference could 
confer, that the delegates should fight tooth and 
nail for every concession which would give the 
appearance of victory on every other point but those 
of allegiance and partition. The conference must 
be a long struggle, with the threat of war ever 
hanging over the failure that must seem inevitable 
from day to day. The delegates must return to 
those who sent them with the words " This is the 
best we could do, the only alternative to its 
acceptance is war." There was also another 
consideration which made it in the interests of Sinn 
Fein to prolong the conference. It was known that 
the Prime Minister was anxious to attend the 
Disarmament Conference in Washington, and Sinn 
Fein was openly alarmed at the effect his personality 


might have upon Irish propaganda and sympathy 
in the United States. That Mr. Lloyd George 
would not leave England while the Irish negotia 
tions were in the balance was certain; if these 
negotiations could be prolonged until it was too 
late for him to go to America the menace to the Sinn 
Fein cause would be averted. 

In addition to the representatives, 
secretaries were appointed to the Irish delegation, 
Messrs. Erskine Childers and John Chartres. The 
appointment of the former has already been 
referred to. Mr. Chartres had performed valuable 
service in the Ministry of Munitions during the 

r, but at its close had drifted into rebellion. He 
was one of the few men of real practical experience 
of affairs on the Sinn Fein side, and as such was 
highly valued by them. There had been a proposal 
in Sinn Fein circles earlier in the year to send him 
as representative to Berlin, but he was considered 
too useful in Ireland, and was employed in an 
advisory capacity to the departments of Propaganda 
and Foreign Affairs. If Mr. Childers was the 
appointment of the extreme Republicans, Mr. 
Chartres was the counterpoise added by Mr. Griffith 
and his moderates. 

It is not proposed to chronicle the proceeding 
of the Conference from day to day, but the leading 
events during its sitting must be mentioned and 
their reaction upon the many issues at stake studied. 

The Conferring met for the first time on October 
llth, and its first business was to appoint a 
committee to deal with complaints of breaches of 
the truce, which were becoming more numerous 
every day. To these complaints the Irish delegates 

238 IRELAND IN 1921. 

replied with counter charges as to the treatment of 
the prisoners in the internment camps. These 
preliminary matters were disposed of during the 
first week, and resulted in the organisation of 
further liaison arrangements. A lull in the 
proceedings followed, due ostensibly to the pressure 
of other business to which the British delegates 
were obliged to attend, but largely to the necessity 
for approaching the real purpose of the conference 
with the utmost delicacy. But circumstances and 
Mr. de Valera brought the question of allegiance to 
an immediate issue. On October 19th the Pope sent 
the following message to the King : 

" We rejoice at the resumption of the Anglo-Irish 
negotiations, and pray to the Lord with all our heart that 
He may bless them and grant to your Majesty the great 
joy and imperishable glory of bringing to an end the 
age-long dissension/' 

To which the King replied : 

" I have received the message of your Holiness with 
much pleasure, and with all my heart I join in your prayer 
that the Conference now sitting in London may achieve a 
permanent settlement of the troubles in Ireland and may 
initiate a new era of peace and happiness for my people." 

Upon publication of these messages, Mr. de 
Valera telegraphed to the Pope as follows : 

" The people of Ireland have read the message sent by 
your Holiness to the King of Great Britain, and appreciate 
the kindly interest in their welfare and the paternal regard 
which suggested it. I tender to your Holiness their 
gratitude. They are confident that the ambiguities in the 
reply sent in the name of King George will not mislead 
you, as it may the uninformed, into believing that the 
troubles are ' in ' Ireland or that the people of Ireland 
owe allegiance to the British King. The independence of 
Ireland has been formally proclaimed by the regularly 
elected representatives of Ireland and ratified by subsequent 


11 The trouble is between Ireland and Britain, and ito 

Britain have sought to impose 

tli.-ir will upon I n-land and liy British force have 
endeavoured to rob her people of the liberty which is their 

iral ritfht and their ancient heritage. We long to be 
at peace and in friendship \\ith tin- JHM.J,!,. <>f Britain, as 
othrr peoples, but the same constancy through 
persecution and martyrdom that has proved the reality of 
our people's attachment to the faith of their fathers proves 
the real ichment to their national freedom, 

and no consideration will ever induce them to abandon it." 

Mr. de Valera's message, on the eve of the 
discussion in the Conference on the question 
of allegiance, could hardly be regarded in any 
other light than as a positive declaration; and 
during a short meeting on the day following 
its publication, the issue was put to the Irish 
delegates directly, and they were asked whether 
or not this message was a true interpretation of 
their own standpoint. The Government's attitude 
was made clear by the Prime Minister in reply 
to a question in the House of Commons: " I 
have read the telegram referred to ' (Mr. de 
Valera's message to the Pope), he said, " and its 
publication, especially in the middle of peace 
negotiations, constitutes a grave challenge. The 
position of the Government on the question involved 
in that telegram has been made abundantly clear. 
We do not propose to recede from it, and the 
ContVivme cannot proceed on any other basis." 

This incident might in itself have been sufficient 
to wreck the Conference had it been pushed to its 
logical ixsue. Of the two main points, allegiance 
and partition, deadlock appeared to have ensued 
upon the first. It appeared to those few Union i 
who disapproved of the Government's policy of 

240 IRELAND IN 1921. 

negotiation with Sinn Fein that this was a 
favourable moment to open their attack in the House 
of Commons. On the last day of October a vote of 
censure moved by them was defeated by a majority 
of ten to one. The issue of allegiance was never 
pressed, it was allowed to recede into the background 
pending the discussion of other matters, both in the 
House and in the Conference. In the latter the 
Irish delegates diverted the proceedings to the 
second essential point, partition. Here, again, 
they did not anticipate that they could secure 
complete success. But, if they could secure a 
reduction of the area controlled by the Northern 
Government, the remaining territory could hardly 
escape falling into their hands. They intro- 
duced the contention that two counties at least, 
Fermanagh and Tyrone, were preponderatingly 
Catholic and non-Unionist in their population, and 
should therefore be transferred to the jurisdiction 
of the South. They were, in fact, prepared to 
strike a bargain. Let them be given so much of 
Ulster that the rest must eventually follow, and they 
would recommend the Bail to accept a form of 
allegiance which would satisfy the British people. 
So the Conference dragged on, struggling from one 
difficult position to another, saved from disaster 
only by the fear of the events which must inevitably 
follow its collapse. 

Meanwhile Ard Fheis, the supreme council of 
Sinn Fein, had met in Dublin behind closed doors. 
Ard Fheis was composed of delegates from the Sinn 
Fein clubs all over Ireland, and there was at least 
a hope that moderate opinion in the country would 
find expression in the deliberations of this body. 


Hut, as has already been mentioned, Anl Fheis 
re-affirmed the Republican standpoint and pledged 
its " undivided allegiance and entire support to 
Dail Eireann, the duly elected Parliament of 
Ireland." This resolution was to some extent a 
triumph for Mr. de Valera and a setback to the 
undeclared policy of the moderate party. But it 
could not be expected that the moderate members of 
the Ard Fheis could formulate a new policy until the 
possibilities of such a policy should be revealed to 
them, or until they saw the certainty of a settlement 
as the result of such a policy. To moderate the 
demands at this juncture might prejudice the efforts 
of the delegates in London, who might find it harder 
to obtain concessions as the threat of war receded. 
It was felt by moderates and extremists alike that 
the whole weight of Sinn Fein must be used to back 
up their representatives at the Conference, at least 
until it was seen what sort of a bargain they would 
bring back. 

In the first week in November Sir James Craig 
visited London for the purpose of conferring witli 
the Prime Minister, and once again the impression 
abroad that Ulster was to be asked to sacri 
position in the interests of a settlement. During 
the next few days Sir James Craig summoned 
members of his Cabinet to London in order to 
consider certain proposals of the Prime Minister. 
There was no question of their participation in the 
Irish Conference itself, or even of their meeting the 
Sinn Fein delegates. In fact, the Propaganda 
department of Dail Eireann, which had transferred 
its Chief to London during the Conference, took 
this opportunity of declaring Sinn Fein's triumph 


242 IRELAND IN 1921. 

in the constitution of the Conference. Sir James 
Craig having been reported as having said that if 
and when Ulster's interests were reached in the 
Conference her representatives would be asked to 
attend, Mr. Desmond Fitzgerald, Minister of 
Propaganda of the Dail, replied as follows : 

" Presumably Sir James Craig means that as the 
British Government is responsible for the situation created 
by the Partition Act, it will consult with himself and his 
colleagues as to satisfactory means of rectifying the 
blunder. The Conference is, of course, confined to the 
accredited representatives of the British and Irish nations." 

This implication was not denied by the British 
Government, and, so far as Ireland at least was 
concerned, the contention that the Sinn Fein 
delegates were recognised as the representatives of 
the whole of Ireland was established. 

On November 12th Orders in Council were issued 
dealing with the appointed days for the handing 
over to Ulster of certain of the powers granted to 
her under the Government of Ireland Act. Of 
these the most important was November 22nd, on 
which date were to be handed over " Irish services 
in connection with the maintenance of law and 
order and the administration of justice." From 
that date the responsibility for the suppression of 
disturbances in Belfast and elsewhere was in the 
hands of the Northern Government, who could, of 
course, call upon the assistance of the British Forces 
in case of need. On the same day, Mr. Milne 
Barbour, one of the Northern Ireland members of 
the delegation which had seen the Prime Minister, 
made a very interesting statement in Belfast. He 
said that Sir James Craig had been put in possession 


of the heads of negotiation between the Sinn Fein 
delegates and Mr. I 1< >yd George. 

" While it is impossible at this stage," said Mr. 
Bui-hour, " to reveal the contents of a confidential 
document, I should like to take this, the earliest opportunity 
of assuring the people of Northern Ireland that the 
Northern Cabinet are absolutely unanimous in the finding 
at which they have arrived. They are as determined as 
ever that it the allegiance of Southern Ireland is to be 
purchased the price to be paid shall not consist of the 
sacrifice of any of the rights, whether territorial or 
administrative, recently conferred on the Northern 
1 that while they are satisfied that the 
Northern province is absolutely unswerving in its allegiance 
to the Crown and its devotion to the best interests of the 
Empire, they will never submit to any authority being 
placed either directly or indirectly above the Northern 
Parliament that would in any way detract from the 
authority exercised by his Majesty through the Imperial 

" Moreover, it is perfectly clear that if the position of 
the powers at present reserved to the Imperial Parliament 
is to be altered it can only be done by the transfer of similar 
powers to the Northern Parliament, and the expression 

minion Government ' must always be construed in the 
li^rht of Ulster remaining a separate and distinct unit in 
the free nations composing the British Empire. The only 
concession Ulster could make would be to accept Dominion 
Home Rule for herself, but as a separate and distinct unit. 
In any case, we expect from the Imperial Parliament that 
it they in order to restore peace in Southern Ireland have 
to give any terms which are more advantageous than are 
already possessed by the Northern Parliament, that equally 
advantageous terms should be extended to Ulster." 

Three days later Mr. Andrews, the Northern 
Minister of Labour, went even further. In the 

courso of an interview he said : 

" A di^rarehil betrayal of Ulster has been attempted 
by the Coalition Cabinet. A suggestion has been made that 
we should agree to a Parliament for all Ireland with 
Dominion powers. We have informed his Majesty's 
Government that we are not prepared to admit the 

mlency of any Parliament other than the Imperial 

244 IRELAND IN 1921. 

Parliament over ours. Our Prime Minister and his 
colleagues have pointed out to his Majesty's Government 
in the clearest possible way that any discussion based on a 
Parliament for all Ireland must prove fruitless, and we 
have asked that this proposal shall be withdrawn before 
any conference takes place between his Majesty's Govern- 
ment and the Ulster Cabinet. 

" In the interests of peace, which every right thinking 
person desires, we, the loyalists of Ulster, accepted the 
Parliament of our own as a compromise, and as a final 
settlement. It is for our opponents, if they desire peace, 
to accept and work their Parliament in Southern Ireland 
in the same spirit and with the object of producing a happy, 
prosperous, peaceful and loyal Ireland. Immediately on 
my return from London I again desire to state that our 
representatives will not agree to any surrender of Ulster's 

The Unionist dissentients in England from the 
Government's policy made an attempt at the meeting 
of the National Unionist Association at Liverpool 
on November 17th to pass a vote of disagreement 
with the policy of the leaders of their party in 
supporting Mr. Lloyd George, which was defeated 
with almost the same ease as the vote of censure 
in the House of Commons had been overwhelmed. 
Public opinion in England was at the moment not 
concerned with the theory of right or wrong involved 
in negotiating with Sinn Fein. The average man, 
while disliking the necessity for treating with 
the representatives of an organisation which he 
despised, was prepared to accept it for the chance 
it offered of saving his pocket and gaining credit 
for Great Britain in the eyes of foreign nations. 
He rarely understood the attitude of Ulster, largely 
owing to the fact that Ulster contented herself with 
somewhat bombastic statements and made little 
attempt to put her point of view before the British 
public. Once more Ulster had been manoeuvred 


into the position of seeming to be the stumbling 
Mock in the way of Irish peace, and had the Sinn 
Fein leaders had the acumen to show an attitude of 
conciliation towards her by removing the boycott 
and putting an end to the operations of the I.R.A. 
within her borders, she would have lost all sympathy 
in (Ireat Britain. But, as usual, Sinn Fein 
displayed its aptitude for producing an atmosphere 
unfavourable to its interests. On the very day that 
the Northern Government took over responsibility 
for law and order, an outbreak of bombing began in 
Belfast, to which several loyalists fell victims. 

But by now the tedious sittings of the Confer- 
ence, with the cloud of rumour which surrounded 
them, were coming to an end. The Irish delegates, 
finding, as they had expected, that the British 
Government would not consent to an abrogation of 
allegiance or to open and direct coercion of Ulster, 

an their preparations for surrender. But that 
this surrender should sufficiently simulate a victory 
for it to secure the necessary support in Ireland, it 
must be staged and manipulated in such a way as 
to make it quite clear that the only alternative was 
\sar, and that Ireland had secured independence in 
all but name. That the extremists with Mr. de 
Valera would stand out from a settlement on these 
lines was certain : the only hope was that this settle- 

;it should appeal to the body of Sinn Fein 
sufficiently for it to rally to the support of the 
moderate party which would immediately emerge 
upon the publication of its terms. 

The commencement of the critical week was 
announced by Sir James Craig at the opening of a 
special session of the Northern Parliament, in a 

246 IRELAND IN 1921. 

speech which must be quoted at some length, if the 
position of Ulster in regard to the settlement is to 
be understood. 

He explained that on November 5th he had 
arrived in London, and that on that day he had 
received an urgent message from Mr. Lloyd 
George to meet him and talk matters over. As a 
preliminary to this meeting he had insisted that the 
transference of the services under the Government of 
Ireland Act should be carried out, and this had been 
done. In the afternoon of the same day he met Mr. 
Lloyd George, who ran roughly through the scheme 
which he proposed should be the basis of discussion 
between the Ulster representatives and the British 
Cabinet. " I told Mr. Lloyd George that the thing 
was impossible, utterly impossible, and I went 
further. I said instinctively that this was not so 
much a matter between the Six Counties and the 
rest of Ireland, but it was a matter that went to 
the root not only of Great Britain, but of the whole 
Empire, and I said that if it were entertained by 
the members of my Cabinet or by this Northern 
House of Commons, or by the people of Ulster, they 
would have to get somebody else to lead them, because 
I would not touch it." Since that day, continued 
Sir James, there had been a Press campaign without 
parallel in the history of Great Britain against the 
people of Ulster. Sinn Fein was held up to the 
world as the good boy, while they in Ulster were 
pictured as the bad boy. What the Press had asked 
for was concession; what they really meant was 
surrender. Sir James and his colleagues had 
pressed in every communication they had had with 
the British Government for full publication of the 


correspondence which had passed between them. 
They felt strongly that the malicious representations 
in the Press would very soon give place to a 

-onaMe examination of the case which the Ulster 
Cabinet had put tWuard on their behalf. They 
\\crc extremely anxious that no words of theirs, and 

ainly no action of theirs, should in any way be 
thrown up against them as being the cause that had 
broken down negotiations between the British 
authorities and Sinn Fein. Therefore, if it was in 
any way to help towards peace in Ireland they would 
acquiesce in the request of his Majesty's Govern- 
ment, and not press to have the correspondence 
published at that moment. But he would say this, 
that if he observed the necessity for doing so he 
would not ask for permission, no matter what the 
consequences might be. 

Sir James Craig let it be known that the scheme 
put forward by the British Government had involved 
t he establishment of an all-Ireland Parliament. He 
wanted the British Government to understand 
finally that it was not the determination of the 
Northern Cabinet or of that House alone, but that 
it was the determination of the whole people of 
Ulster, that under no circumstances whatever would 
they contemplate entering a Sinn Fein Parliament 
under the present conditions. Ulster would neither 
be intimidated nor coerced. The only way their 
opponents could ever hope to secure Ulster was by 
winning her, by starting out upon such a path as 
they in Ulster had taken to tread, the path at the 
end of which lay happiness, {>eaee, and prosperity 
throughout the land, showing to all classes and to 
all creeds firm justice and upright government, 

248 IRELAND IN 1921. 

throwing altogether to one side the abominable 
machinery of crime and outrage, and asking 
forgiveness for the dastardly deeds done in the past, 
and which had so recently stained the fair name of 
Belfast. How could they be asked to clasp hands 
with people who at the same time that they were 
pretending to come to a settlement were flinging 
their bombs and shooting behind the chimneypots of 
Belfast? It was preposterous. Ulster was not 
blocking the way to a settlement. She wanted to 
have a settlement, and if there was any prospect of 
Sinn Fein showing common-sense, even at that late 
hour, her leaders would renew the offer they made 
before, that through the machinery of the Council 
of Ireland they were prepared to meet them, talk 
round the table, and discuss those matters which 
were of interest to the prosperity of their common 

But the most important statement of Sir James 
Craig's speech was contained in an announcement 
which Mr. Lloyd George had authorised him to 
make. " By Tuesday next either the negotiations 
will have broken down or the Prime Minister will 
send me new proposals for consideration by the 
Cabinet. In the meantime, the rights of Ulster 
will in no way be sacrificed or compromised/' Sir 
James spoke on November 29th, which implied that 
the decisive day would be December 6th. He went 
on to explain the significance of that statement, 
which he said was that one more week only was given 
to say either yes or no. It meant that Sinn Fein, 
fully alive, as it was now, to Ulster's unflinching 
determination not to go into an all-Ireland 
Parliament, had got to say by Tuesday next that 


she would continue to work for a settlement or 
negotiations would be broken off. 

The imposition of this time limit was a warning 
to the Irish delegates that the patience of the 
Government was exhausted, and that they must face 
facts at last. The position immediately became 
crit ical. Nobody, not even the delegates themselves, 
knew the strength of the moderate party in Ireland, 
nor how it would be represented in the Bail. In 
fact, it is not too much to say that the moderate 
party as yet existed only in theory. It was 
composed of those who desired peace in Ireland, 
but the numbers of its adherents would depend 
entirely upon the terms of the settlement, and 
could not be forecasted in advance. The more 
nearly the terms approached the Sinn Fein 
ideal, the stronger would be the support for 
them among the members of that party. Mr. 
de Valera and his adherents would no doubt 
oppose any settlement which did not recognise the 
Republic. Speaking at Ennis, Co. Clare, on 
November 30th, Mr. de Valera re-affirmed his 
adherence to his principles, without, however, 
specifying those principles in any detail. It was 
evident from his words that he knew of the likelihood 
of a moderate party accepting the settlement secured 
by the delegates, even if that settlement were not in 
acc< with his own principles. When Ireland 

gave her delegates work to do, he said, it was not 
r others to cut into that work. 

" There is one thing- they know. It is this, that we 
stand in the movement for certain principles, and there is 
no power on earth that can make us change those principles. 
All the power of the Empire cannot break the spirit of one 

250 IRELAND IN 1921. 

true man, and they cannot break the spirit of one true 
nation. ... If there is anybody in Ireland, or in any 
country beside Ireland, who thinks we can be driven beyond 
the point we are entitled to hold by our principles, then 
the sooner they know we cannot the better, because they 
certainly will be disappointed. We are going to stand 
on the rock of truth and principle. We will face the 
future with exactly the same confidence and knowledge as 
we faced our work four years ago. We know what can be 
done by the same powerful nation against us. We know the 
terrorism, we know the savagery, that can be used against 
us, but we defy it. When the report of the work done by the 
nation's representatives in London is published this nation 
will find that we have gone as far as we can possibly go to 
make peace, and if peace is not made it is not because 
there is not the will on the part of Ireland or its 
representatives to make it, but because those who are 
opposed to us in Ireland do not want to make peace with 
us. I may tell you we stand to-day, no matter what other 
people say, exactly where we stood and for the principles 
for which we stood four years ago. We have gone as far 
as we can go, consistently with those principles, for peace. 
We cannot go and will not go any farther. If we go any 
farther it would be for us to betray those principles which 
have been fought for by generations of Irishmen for the 
past six or seven hundred years. " 

During the week-end before December 6th hope 
of a successful termination of the negotiations had 
been practically abandoned in all quarters except 
those where the belief that the delegates might 
challenge the official policy of Sinn Fein was 
held. Extreme Republicans throughout Ireland 
were clamouring for war and doing their utmost 
to incite the I.E. A. to breaches of the truce 
which would terminate negotiations and precipitate 
hostilities. Extracts from a circular distributed in 
County Mayo form an excellent example of the 
methods employed. 

" The Irish people forget too easilv, they forgive too 
easily. Let Ireland's wrongs, financial, social, economic, 
and moral, be borne in mind." 


" The Iriyh envoys must not forget that ' He who supa 
v\ 1th the devil needs a long spoon.' 

"In England's envoys, the world, the flesh, and the 
devil are personified." 

' \\> would just as soon trust the shark to be just as 
to tru>t the English politicians or the English Press on the 
subject of Ireland." 

" < ur advice then to the Irish representatives is, do 
not trust the men with whom you have to deal, they will 
deceive and swindle you if they can." 

" The Irish representatives are face to face with an 
unprincipled gang, who would do nothing for God if the 

.1 was dead." 

" The double turncoat Churchill, the double distilled 
liar Greenwood, the Prime Minister who has sold everyone 
and every party in turn, Galloper Smith, and one of the 
foulest and rottenest of them all, Gordon Hewart, who 

d trust these men? " 

" Uoyd George sent Balfour to Washington, the same 
Balfour who lied to and tricked Wilson into the war." 

" We fear treachery and bad faith on England's part, 
and not without cause, she is represented by men as 
infamous, as treacherous, as unscrupulous, as unprincipled, 
as ever broke faith on her behalf with Ireland, or Egypt, 
or India, or any other nation. Never has she failed 
to take her advantage to use brutality, duplicity or 

" We warn the Irish leaders and the Irish people that 
they are dealing with men who have no honour, no 
principles, no scruples. The men who let loose the Blark 
and Tans upon the Irish people are the same who still 
direct England's destinies." 

" The key is now in the hands of the Irish Republican 
leaders, but they must have the cunning of the serpent, 
and the gentleness of the dove." 

" I. t it not be said that we write harshly or bitterly. 
we have no wish to do so. Again let it not be said that we 
are influenced l.\ the long gone past." 

This kind of utterance sounds merely stupid to 
English ears, and it is difficult to realise that it could 

: y any weight in so large a matter as the settle- 
ment of the Irish question. But its influence, and 

252 IRELAND IN 1921. 

the influence of a thousand pamphlets of the same 
nature, must always be exceedingly grave upon a 
population such as inhabits the remoter districts of 
the South and West of Ireland, a large proportion 
of which would accept its statements as they would 
the gospel. Spreading from these remoter districts 
towards the cities, a wave of unrest and longing for 
war rolled over the whole country during the last 
days of the Conference. In the same county as the 
circular just quoted was published, Mr. J. J. 
McKeown had said a short time previously : 

" Do not imagine that the fight is over yet. Our 
representatives have not gone to England for a settlement, 
but for a Republic, and we will accept nothing less. It is 
not certain that we will get this, so we must go on training 
and preparing for the continuation of the war." 

The military reports of the condition of the 
country pointed to a condition of affairs rapidly 
approaching a complete disregard for the truce on 
the part of large sections of the I.E. A. 

On the other hand, a very large .section of the 
population, including all those who had a stake in 
the country, although they too had almost given up 
hope of a successful termination to the negotiations, 
were desperately seeking some alternative to a 
resumption of hostilities. " The truce must be 
preserved at any cost," was their cry, and it voiced 
the feeling of a large section of the people of 
England as well as their own. But how this was to 
be accomplished if the Sinn Fein leaders refused to 
accept the British offer it was difficult to see. Even 
if neither side formally denounced the truce, events 
must necessarily lead to a catastrophe. Some form 
of administration would be set up by the British 


Government which would necessarily involve the 
dissolution or proclamation of the Bail. That the 
I.R.A. would submit to this was hardly to be 
imagined. During the first week in December there 
seemed hardly any hope that war, on a greater scale 
than Ireland had ever yet known, could be averted. 

Such was the position on December 5th. The 
final proposals of the British Government had been 

veyed to the Irish delegates, who had carried 
them to Dublin and laid them before the Dail 
Cabinet. Allegiance and Partition, the t 
eternal questions, were still unsolved. The first 
remained in its original and unalterable form, the 
second, although somewhat weakened, was still in a 
form which could not be said to agree with 
Republican principles. The attempt to bargain 
one for the other had been demonstrated as hopeless. 
The problem before the delegates was this : Were the 
terms they must decide upon within the next 
twenty-four hours sufficient inducement for a 
majority of Sinn Fein to abandon the Republican 
standpoint and adopt a policy based upon Dominion 
status ? 

Six months before this time the problem would 
have been capable of immediate solution in the shape 
of a reply in the negative. But, during the period 
of negotiation, the leaders of the party had had 
time to think out the true welfare of Ireland, and 
the rank and file to wonder whether, after all, peace 
was not preferable to a state of guerilla warfare. 
Sum Fein, and from its inception, the Irish 
Republican Brotherhood, had been formed in the 
first instance to destroy English domination of 
Ireland. The assumption of republican status by 

254 IRELAND IN 1921. 

the latter country had been for the purpose of 
rendering that destruction absolute. The proposed 
terms of settlement removed every vestige of English 
control from Irish government, drove from Dublin 
Castle every official in English pay. The sole 
vestige that should remain was henceforth a splendid 
figurehead in the Viceregal Lodge. Was not this a 
sufficient realisation of independence ? 

Again, Sinn Fein had never secured its support 
from the people of Ireland because of its Republican 
tendency, but rather in spite of it. The Irish people 
as a whole are not, and never have been, advocates 
of any other form of government than a monarchy. 
Sinn Fein had attracted the masses because it was 
' agin the Government/ 1 because it promised in 
some vague way relief from the unsatisfactory 
conditions of Irish life and conditions, which the 
Irish people attributed, rightly or wrongly, to 
" Castle Rule/' Sinn Fein had secured for the 
Irish people the abandonment of English control. 
Would they continue to support it if it abandoned 
the advantages which it had gained in the pursuit 
of an unattainable Republic ? 

The delegates themselves were divided in their 
opinion. Each knew that acceptance of the terms 
would split the Sinn Fein movement, and with it 
the Dail and the Dail Cabinet, from top to bottom. 
If the majority supported them in their acceptance, 
then, despite the inevitable opposition of the 
Republicans, who would carry with them all the 
disorderly and dangerous elements in the popula- 
tion, it might be possible for them to evolve an Irish 
State within the Empire, with themselves at its 
head. If, on the other hand, the majority went 


against them, they would be proclaimed as the 
would-be betrayers of their country, and might 
expect short shrift at the hands of ' patriots,' who 
\sould consider their assassination a blow struck for 
Ireland. They would have disobeyed the injunctions 
of the President and of the men who had selected 
them as their representatives, and any defence of 
their actions at the bar of the Bail would have been 

At half-past seven on the evening of December 
5th the Irish delegates left No. 10, Downing Street, 
after a four and a half hours' discussion with the 
British representatives, to consider the question of 
acceptance or rejection of the final terms of the 
British Government. At twenty minutes past 
eleven they returned, and for three hours the world 
awaited the issue of peace or war. At last, shortly 
after a quarter past two on the morning of the 6th, 
the Conference broke up, a courier was despatched 
to Belfast bearing a copy of the terms to Sir James 
Craig, and the announcement that an agreement had 
been reached was made. The Irish delegates had 
taken the decisive step. It remained to be seen how 
far Sinn Fein and the Irish nation would support 


The agreement which had been reached as a 
result of the London Conference was officially 
described as Articles of Agreement for a Treaty 
between Great Britain and Ireland, and became 
popularly known as ' The Treaty.' It was as 
follows : 

1. Ireland shall have the same constitutional status 
in the Community of Nations known as the British Empire 
as the Dominion of Canada, the Commonwealth of 
Australia, the Dominion of New Zealand, and the Union 
of South Africa, with a Parliament having power to make 
laws for the peace order and good government of Ireland 
and an Executive responsible to that Parliament, and shall 
be styled and known as the Irish FrejjStaie. 

2. Subject to the provisions hereinafter set out the 
position of the Irish Free State in relation to the Imperial 
Parliament and Government and otherwise shall be that 
of the Dominion of Canada, and the law, practice and 
constitutional usage governing the relationship of the 
Crown or the representative of the Crown and of the 
Imperial Parliament to the Dominion of Canada shall 
govern their relationship to the Irish Free State. 

3. The representative of the Crown in Ireland shall 
be appointed in like manner as the Governor-General of 

-Canada, and in accordance with the practice observed in 
the making of such appointments. 

4. The oath to be taken by Members of the Parliament 
of the Irish Free State shall be in the following form : 

I .... do solemnly swear true faith and 
allegiance to the Constitution of the Irish Free State 


as bv law established and that I will be faithtu 
H.M. King George V., his heirs and successors bv law, 
in virtue i.t tin- <, linn. .-n-hip of Ireland with 

Great Britain and her adherence to and membership 
of the group of nations forming the British Common- 
wealth of Nations. 

5. The Ii-i-h ! hall assume liability for the 

service of tin* 1'uldic Debt of the United Kingdom as 
existing at the date hereof and towards the payment of 
uar pensions as existing at that date in such proportion as 
may be fair and equitable, having regard to any just cli> 
(m the part of Ireland by way of set off or counterclaim, 
the amount of such sums being determined in default of 
agreement by tin' arbitration of one or more independent 
persons bein^r citizens of the British Empire. 

Tnti! an arrangement has been made between the 
British and Irish Governments whereby the Irish Free 
State undertakes her own coastal defence, the defence by 
sea of Great Britain and Ireland shall be undertaken by 
his Maj- 'nperial Forces, but this shall not prevent 

the construct in or maintenance by the Government of the 
Irish Free State of such vessels as are necessary for the 
protection of the Revenue or the Fisheries. 

The foregoing provisions of this article shall be 
reviewed at a conference of Representatives of the British 
and Irish Governments to be held at the expiration of five 
years from the date hereof with a view to the undertaking 
by Ireland of a share in her own coastal defence. 

7. The Government of the Irish Free State shall 
afford to his Maie-'y's Imperial Forces: 

(a) In time of peace such harbour and other 
facilities as are indicated in the Annex* hereto, 
or such other facilities as may from time to time 
be agreed between the British Government and 
the Government of the Irish Free State ; and 
(6) In time of war or of strained relations with a 
Foreign Power such harbour and other facilities 
as the British Government may require for the 
pii h defence as aforesaid. 

i view to xecurinjjr the observance of the 
principle of international limitation of armaments, if the 
niiiient of the Irish Free State establishes and 
maintain- a milit;. ablishni' 

thereof shall not exceed in size Mich proportion of the 
military MtaUithmentl maintained in Great Britain as 
* See Note E in Appendix. 


258 IRELAND IN 1921. 

that which the population of Ireland bears to the population 
of Great Britain. 

9. The ports of Great Britain and the Irish Free State 
shall be freely open to the ships of the other country on 
payment of the customary port and other dues. 

10. The Government of the Irish Free State agrees to 
pay fair compensation on terms not less favourable than 
those accorded by the Act of 1920 to judges, officials, 
members of police forces, and other public servants, who 
are discharged by it or who retire in consequence of the 
change of government effected in pursuance hereof. 

Provided that this agreement shall not apply to 
members of the Auxiliary Police Force or to persons 
recruited in Great Britain for the Royal Irish Constabulary 
during the two years next preceding the date hereof. The 
British Government will assume responsibility for such 
compensation or pensions as may be payable to any of these 
excepted persons. 

11. Until the expiration of one month from the 
passing of the Act of Parliament for the ratification of this 
instrument, the powers of the Parliament and the Govern- 
ment of the Irish Free State shall not be exercisable as 
respects Northern Ireland, and the provisions of the 
Government of Ireland Act, 1920, shall, so far as they 
relate to Northern Ireland, remain of full force and effect, 
and no election shall be held for the return of members to 
serve in the Parliament of the Irish- Free State for 
constituencies in Northern Ireland, unless a resolution is 
passed by both Houses of the Parliament of Northern 
Ireland in favour of the holding of such elections before the 
end of the said month. 

12. If, before the expiration of the said month, an 
address is presented to his Majesty by both Houses of the 
Parliament of Northern Ireland to that effect, the powers 
of the Parliament and the Government of the Irish Free 
State shall no longer extend to Northern Ireland, and the 
provisions of the Government of Ireland Act, 1920 (includ- 
ing those relating to the Council of Ireland), shall, so far 
as they relate to Northern Ireland, continue to be of full 
force and effect, and this instrument shall have effect 
subject to the necessary modifications. 

Provided that if such an address is so presented a 
Commission consisting of three persons, one to be appointed 
by the Government of the Irish Free State, one to be 


appointed liy the Government of Northern Irelaml, and one 
who shall l>e Chairman, to be appointed by the Bri 
Government, shall determine, in accordance with the 
u i.shfs of the inhabitants, so far as may be compatible with 
economic and geographic conditions, the boundaries 
l)-t ween Northern Ireland and the rest of Ireland, and for 
the purposes of the Government of Ireland Act, 1920, 
and of thi.- instrument, the boundary cf Northern Ireland 
shall be such as may be determined by such Commission. 

1'f. For the purpose of the last foregoing article, the 
powers of the Parliament of Southern Ireland under the 
Government of Ireland Act, 1920, to elect members of the 
Council of Ireland, shall, after the Parliament of the Irish 
Free State is constituted, be exercised by that Parliament. 

14. After the expiration of the said month, if no such 
address as is mentioned in Article 12 hereof is presented, 
the Parliament and Government of Northern Ireland shall 
continue to exercise as respects Northern Ireland the powers 
conferred on them by the Government of Ireland Act, 1920, 
but the Parliament and Government of the Irish Free 
State shall in Northern Ireland have in relation to matters 
in respect of which the Parliament of Northern Ireland has 
not power to make laws under that Act (including matters 
which under the said Act are within the jurisdiction of the 
Council of Ireland) the same powers as in the rest of Ireland 
subject to such provisions as may be agreed in manner 
hereinafter appearing. 

16. At any time after the date hereof the Government 
of Northern Ireland and the provisional Government of 
Southern Ireland hereinafter constituted may meet for the 
purpose of discussing the provisions subject to which the 
last foregoing Article is to operate in the event of no such 
*M I dress as is therein mentioned being presented, and those 
provisions may include: 

(a) Safeguards with regard to patronage in Northern 


(6) Safeguards with regard to the collection of 

ivvrnue in Northern Ireland, 

(r) Safeguards with regard to import and export 
duties affecting the trade or industry of Northern 

(d) Safeguards for minorities in Northern Ireland, 

260 IRELAND IN 1921. 

(e) The settlement of the financial relations between 

Northern Ireland and the Irish Free State, 
(/) The establishment and powers of a local militia 
in Northern Ireland and the relation of the 
Defence Forces of the Irish Free State and of 
Northern Ireland respectively; 

and if at any such meeting provisions are agreed to, the 
same shall have effect as if they were included amongst the 
provisions subject to which the powers of the Parliament 
and Government of the Irish Free State are to be exercisable 
in Northern Ireland under Article 14 hereof. 

16. Neither the Parliament of the Irish Free State nor 
the Parliament of Northern Ireland shall make any law 
so as either directly or indirectly to endow any religion or 
prohibit or restrict the free exercise thereof or give any 
preference or impose any disability on account of religious 
belief or religious status or affect prejudicially the right of 
any child to attend a school receiving public money without 
attending the religious instruction at the school or make 
any discrimination as respects State aid between schools 
under the management of different religious denominations 
or divert from any religious denomination or any 
educational institution any of its property except for public 
utility purposes and on payment of compensation. 

17. By way of provisional arrangement for the 
administration of Southern Ireland during the interval 
which must elapse between the date hereof and the 
constitution of a Parliament and Government of the Irish 
Free State in accordance therewith, steps shall be taken 
forthwith for summoning a meeting of members of 
Parliament elected for constituencies in Southern Ireland 
since the passing of the Government of Ireland Act, 1920, 
and for constituting a provisional Government, and the 
British Government shall take the steps necessary to 
transfer to such provisional Government the powers and 
machinery requisite for the discharge of its duties, provided 
that every member of such provisional Government shall 
have signified in writing his or her acceptance of this 
instrument. But this arrangement shall not continue in 
force beyond the expiration of twelve months from the 
date hereof. 

18. This instrument shall be submitted forthwith by 
his Majesty's Government for the approval of Parliament 
and by the Irish signatories to a meeting summoned for the 


purpose of the members elected to sit in the House of 
( 'miniums ,[ Southern Ireland, and, if approved, shall be 
I liy the necessary legislation." 

This document was signed by Mr. Lloyd George, 
Mr. Austen Chamberlain, Lord Birkenhead, 
Mr. Winston rhuivhill, Sir Laming Worthington- 
Evans, Sir Hamar Greenwood, and Sir Gordon 
ilevvart, on behalf of the British Government, and, 
in Erse, by Messrs. Griffith, Collins, Barton, 
Duggan, and Gavan Duffy, on behalf of the Bail. 

We have no space for a detailed examination of 
these articles of agreement, but there are certain 
phrases in them which will repay a passing notice, 
by reason of their influence upon the situation 
brought about by these terms of settlement. The 
method of appointing the " representative of the 
Crown in Ireland " and the title of that representa- 
tive is left as indefinite as possible, in order that 
the Irish people should be free to indicate their 
wishes on these points and to suggest the name 
of the occupant of that post. In Article 5 the 
limitation of membership of the Board of 
Arbitration to " citizens of the British Empire ' 
disposed of Mr. de Valera's suggestion as to 
i nal arbitration on this very point, contained in 
his original reply to the Prime Minister's offer 
(see page 17 The inclusion of the harbour 
defences of Belfast Lough in the Annex to the 
Articles dealing with naval facilities gave 
.siderable offence in Ulster, where it was 
.sidered that this was a matter concerning the 
Northern Government exclusively, and that should 
not have been discussed at a conference I" 
the representatives of the British Government 

262 IRELAND IN 1921. 

and Sinn Fein. In Article 8 the phrase " military 
establishments maintained in Great Britain ' 
is important. The intention was that if, for 
the sake of argument, the population of England, 
Scotland, and Wales together were taken as forty 
millions, and of Ireland as four millions, and 
at the same time the establishment of troops 
actually maintained as the home establishment in 
Great Britain as fifty thousand, the strength of the 
Free State defence force should not exceed five 
thousand. With reference to the phrase " not less 
favourable than those accorded by the Act of 1920 ' 
occurring in Article 10, the terms in question are 
contained in the seventh, eighth, and ninth Schedules 
of the Government of Ireland Act, 1920. In the 
same article, ' ' persons recruited in Great Britain 
for the Royal Irish Constabulary during the two 
years next preceding the date hereof " means the 
1 Black and Tans/ who were men recruited in 
Great Britain for regular service in the R.I.C.* 
Recruitment for the R.I.C., hitherto confined to 
Ireland, was opened in Great Britain on January 
1st, 1920. In Articles 11 and 18 the distinction 
between approval and ratification must be carefully 
noted. The first was a proceeding to be undertaken 
as soon as possible after the signing of the treaty, 
the second must be deferred until the arrangements 
contemplated by the treaty were complete. It was 
not until after ratification that Ulster's month 
of grace was intended to begin. The phrases 
' members of Parliament elected for constituencies 
in Southern Ireland since the passing of the 
Government of Ireland Act, 1920 " (Article 17) 

* See Note F in Appendix. 


and " Members elected to sit in the House of 
Commons of Southern Ireland ' (Article 18) are 
euplit'inist i >ns for describing the Southern 

members of the Bail with the four Dublin University 
representatives. The distinction between the 
Southern Parliament and Dail Eireann has already 
been explained (pa# ^()). With these few explana- 
tory notes, we may pass to the reception of the 
treaty by the various parties concerned. 

That Mr. de Valera would express strong 
disapproval of the treaty was certain from the first, 
although the belief at the time was that he had 
instructed the delegates to sign it if they were faced 
with no other alternative but war. The fact that 
they had been to Dublin to attend a meeting of the 
Dail Cabinet two days before the treaty was signed 
lent colour to this view, for the extent of the 
divergence between the extremists and the potential 
moderate section was not yet generally known. Any 
optimism in this direction was shattered by the 
issue on the evening of the 8th of Mr. de Valera's 
statement, which was as follows : 

" Fellow Gails (sic), You have seen in the public 
Press the text of the proposed Treaty with Great Britain. 
The terms of this agreement are in violent conflict with 
the wishes of the majority of this nation, as expressed 
freely in BII- Ol during- the past three y> 

I feel it my duty to inform you immediately that I cai 
recommend ince of thi- Dail 

Kin-ami or to the country. In this attitude I am supported 
by the Ministers for Home Affairs and Defen* (These 

were Messrs. An k and Cathal Brug-ha respe- 

" A public session of Dail Eireann is beinir summoned 
for Wednesday next, at eleven o'clock. I ask the people 
to maintain during the interval the same disciplin* 
heretofore. The members of the Cabinet, though divided 
in opinion, are prepared to carry on the public services as 
heretofore. The army is, of course, as such, not affected 

264 IRELAND IN 1921. 

by the political situation, and continues under the same 
orders and control. 

" The great test of our people has come. Let us face 
it worthily without bitterness, and above all without 
recriminations. There is a definite constitutional way of 
resolving all our political differences. Let us not depart 
from it. Let us all abide by it, and let the conduct of the 
Cabinet in this matter be an example to the whole nation." 

An T'Oglac, in its issue following the announce- 
ment of the treaty, enlarged upon the words of Mr. 
de Valera respecting the Army as follows : 

" Within the next few days, perhaps before this issue 
of An T'Offlac reaches the hands of the Irish Volunteers, 
fateful and far-reaching decisions will have been taken by 
the Government and Parliament at present in control of 
Ireland's destinies. The future of Ireland and consequently 
the future of the Army of Ireland may be profoundly 
affected bv these decisions. Now, as in the past, it is the 
duty of the Army not to allow its discipline or efficiency 
to be impaired by political happenings. 

* The Armv is the servant of the nation and will obey 
the national will expressed by the chosen representatives of 
the people and interpreted through the proper military 

* Whatever that decision may be, the soldiers and 
officers of the Army of Ireland will accept it in the true 
spirit of disciplined soldiers loyal to the nation in defence 
of whose rights and liberties they have been enrolled, and 
will obey their orders cheerfully and unflinchingly what- 
ever the consequences. 

"As in the past, they will not shrink from any risks 
they may be called upon to face, nor will they allow their 
own personal views and feelings to interfere with their 
loyalty to the nation. It is the duty of officers, at a time 
like this, to see that nothing is allowed to lower the sense 
of discipline, loyalty, and unity of the soldiers of the Irish 
Army. One of the first virtues of the soldier, one of the 
sources of the strength of a military organisation, is 
obedience to superior authorities. 

" The Army of Ireland has at its head men who are 
fully conscious of their responsibilities and are prepared to 
carry out their duty as soldiers and as citizens; they look 
to the officers and men of the Army for disciplined 


obedience in the same spirit, the spirit which we have 
called the ' Volunteer Spirit.' 

" The strength of the Army lies in its having acted as 
an organised and disciplined whole, under a single 
authority, in support <f the national will constitutionally 
expressed It will continue to act as such. It will never 
be a menace to the people of Ireland, but a defender of the 
rights and liber the whole nation. No political 

influences, no personal differences among officers or men 
will be allowed now, any more than in the past, to impair 
its discipline and efficiency." 

These words form interesting reading in the light 
of the sharp divisions in the I.B.A. which so soon 
followed them. 

Mr. de Valera's words found an echo in the 
advice given by Mr. Art O'Brien, the President of 
the Irish Self-Determination League of Great 
Britain, ' to the Irish in Great Britain.' 

" Be not misled into rejoicing and thanksgiving 
without cause or reason," says this faithful hench- 
man of the Republic ; 

" The claims of the people of Ireland is, and always 
has been, the recognition of the complete independence of 
their country. That is a claim no nation can foregx), and 
until it is met in their case, the Irish race cannot rejoice. 
If, under the threat of renewed and intensified warfare, 
and as an alternative to seeing their country ravished and 
laid waste by fire and sword, and their race exterminated, 
five Irishmen have been compelled to sign their name 
the document published yesterday, that is not a cause for 
us to rejoice or a reason for us to offer thanksgiving. The 
7M) years' war is not ended, because no war can be ended 
by an enforced peace, nor can understanding between two 
peoples he attained where one people uai 
might to hinder the attainment of the other's moral right. 
The Knirlish people have cause at all events a superficial 
OatUM Do not let us interfere with their 

cing and thanksgiving. They have won another round. 
We could even, in accepting the fall of the dice, congratu- 
late them; though we could not congratulate 01; 

266 IRELAND IN 1921. 

It should perhaps be mentioned that the 
Self-Determination League, and particularly its 
President, had been somewhat in the background 
during the period of the Conference. The delegates 
mistrusted its influence, which they knew to be 
extreme rather than moderate, and they had usurped 
its functions as the mouthpiece of Sinn Fein in 
England by importing their own Minister of 
Propaganda for that purpose. This may to some 
extent explain the adherence of the League to the 
extremist party. 

But, on the whole, the access of support to the 
delegates upon which they had counted, and without 
the assurance of which they would never have signed 
the paper, was even greater in appearance than they 
can have suspected. The great mass of the people 
of Ireland, the Catholic Church, and the Irish Press, 
including the great majority of the provincial 
papers, rallied to them at once. The people were 
naturally inarticulate, but the symptoms of joy 
visible throughout the South and West could not be 
misinterpreted. A competent observer, very closely 
in touch with Sinn Fein and with the people in 
general, wrote at the time : * ' The immediate effect 
of the treaty was one of intense thankfulness, but 
contrary to the expectation of most people there was 
no flag-waving or ' maffiicking ' ; the news was taken 
calmly and quietly, but nevertheless thankfully, and 
the churches were filled the next morning, which, in 
Ireland, is a sure barometer." 

The Nationalist papers were outspoken in their 
joy. The Freeman's Journal said : " In the articles 
of settlement will be found every essential of that 
freedom for which the Irish people have fought for 


over seven long and sorrowful centuries. Let the 
people of Ireland make it their own." The 
Independent said: " The feud and friction of 
centuries come to an end, and after the terms 
have been ratified by the Parliaments of both 
countries, as we have no doubt they will be, the 
Irish Free State will be master in her own house, 
and in a position to work out her own salvation in 
full and without hindrance." 

The Catholic Hierarchy were less outspoken, 
from their natural reluctance to bind the Church 
to the support of any one political party. On the 
KJth the Bishops met at University College, under 
the presidency of Cardinal Logue. At the close of 
the meeting a statement was issued, signed by the 
Cardinal, as follows : 

" At a general meeting of the Archbishops and Bishops 
of Ireland, held in Dublin on December 13th, his Eminence 
Cardinal Logue in the chair, the following statement was 
unanimously adopted : ' The Bishops of Ireland hold in 
the highest appreciation the patriotism, ability and honesty 
of purpose in which the Irish representatives have 
(nductril the struggle for national freedom. Now Dail 
Kin-ail n have the responsibility of deciding the destiny of 
Ireland in the approaching deliberations, in the course of 
vhicli they will oe sure to have before their minds the 
interests of the country and the wishes of the people to 
whom they and we happily belong. We most earnestly 
beff of God that they may be guided by wisdom from above, 
and to implore the divine blessing on their counsels we 
ask every priest in Ireland who is free to offer up the holy 

ti< r one of these days, and all our people, to join in 
prayer with unfailing perseverance.' 

The observer already quoted comments as foil 
upon this statement : " The Church in Ireland is 
unquestionably whole-heartedly in support of the 
Treaty. It has been stated broadcast in England 
that the Bishops of Ireland made a great mistake 

268 IRELAND IN 1921. 

in the statement they issued since the signature of 
the Treaty, by not according it whole-hearted and 
unequivocal support. The reason for this is that 
although individually they thoroughly approve they 
do not proclaim this collectively because very great 
pressure was brought to bear on them to adopt this 
attitude by those in favour of ratification, including 
Griffith himself. The latter hopes for a united 
and peaceful Ireland in the future, and knowing 
how every move of the Hierarchy in Ireland is looked 
upon with suspicion by Ulster did not wish Ulster 
to get the impression that as the Bishops had 
recommended the ratification of the Treaty it must 
therefore tend towards producing some sort of a 
one-sided religious solution. To those who know the 
situation in Ulster and in Ireland generally this 
argument seems perfectly logical." 

The Southern Unionists, whatever may have 
been their private feelings, welcomed the Treaty 
officially. The Irish Times, which may be considered 
as their organ, said : " Nobody will welcome it more 
gladly than the loyalists of Southern Ireland." 
Mr. Griffith wrote to the Prime Minister as follows : 

" I write to inform you that at a meeting I had with 
the representatives of the Southern Unionists I agreed that 
a scheme should be devised to give them their full share 
of representation in the first Chamber of the Irish 
Parliament, and that as to the Upper Chamber we will 
consult them on its constitution, and undertake that their 
interests will be duly represented. 

" I wish also to take this occasion to say that we desire 
to secure the willing co-operation of Unionists in common 
with all other sections of the Irish nation in raising the 
structure and shaping the destiny of the Irish Free State. 
We look for their assistance in the same spirit of under- 
standing and goodwill which we ourselves will show towards 
their traditions and interests. " 


The Voic< tin* organ of the Ii 

nsj)ort and General Workers' Union, in a 
leading article urged that there should be no 
bitterness in spite of the divergence of opinion 
ainoii^ the Sinn Fein leaders, and stated that until 
the Dail had had an opportunity of debating the 

stion of the Treaty the Voice of Labour did not 
propose to intervene, because the responsibility of 

ision rested on the Dail in the first instance and 
after that, if need be, upon the whole body of the 
people whose representatives were the members of 
the Dail. All Unions were advised not to take 
sides in the matter lest labour in Ireland should be 
split, which would be disastrous in view of the 
coming attack by employers. " Already we have 
too little unity and solidarity in our ranks." The 
same issue of the paper contained a most bitter 
attack on the Southern Unionists, and a heated 
protest against their having any special privileges 
in future because they were ' * the miserable remnants 
of the landlord ascendency," of whom the country 
would be well rid. The cause of this attack v 
the letter from Mr. Griffith to the Prime Minister 
(pioted above. On the other hand, the WorJ; 

.mblic, the organ of the communist party of 
Ireland, had a most violent manifesto against the 
terms of the agreement as a " most shameful 
betrayal of Ireland's fight for national independence 
and of the cause of Irish Republicanism." The 
observer already quoted comments: " The Citizen 
Army and the Transport Workers undoubtedly 
intend to rreate as much trouble as they possibly 
can: and it remains to be seen whether as a party 
they are as strong in reality as their boasted paper 

270 IRELAND IN 1921. 

strength. If composed of Transport Workers only, 
they would be almost negligible and local, but their 
aim and ambition are to affiliate all the agricultural 
labourers of Ireland/' 

The reception of the Treaty by the Bail will be 
dealt with in the following chapter. We must now 
consider its effect upon the attitude of Ulster. Press 
comment in Northern Ireland may be exemplified by 
the Belfast Telegraph, which took the line that the 
British Government had resolved to purchase peace 
with Sinn Fein, however desperate the price and 
disgraceful the surrender of honour might be. That 
fact Ulster must look squarely in the face and direct 
her own course accordingly. This paper also 
recalled a saying of Mr. Birrell's : " It is a British 
characteristic, though not an agreeable one, that 
once we are beaten we go over in a body to the 
successful enemy and too often abandon and cold- 
shoulder and snub both in action and in writing 
the suffering few who adhered to our cause in evil 
and difficult times/' The cry of the Representative 
Body of the R.I.C. came as an echo to these words. 
In a telegram to the Prime Minister its members 
declared that " all ranks of the R.I.C. view with 
the greatest consternation the terms of the agree- 
ment between the British Government and the Sinn 
Fein delegates as far as these terms affect the 
R.I.C/' They had good cause for their consterna- 
tion. The R.I.C. was disbanded in the year of 
its centenary, but not before many of its members 
had paid with their lives, which the Treaty did not 
protect, for their adherence to the British cause in 
evil and difficult times. 

The Belfast correspondent of the London 


Daily Telegraph, always impartial and well- 
informed, wrote on the 7th : 

" A night's reflection on the peace terms has not 
minimised the diilu -allies now confronting the Northern 
P;irli:iinTit. On the one hand, if it abides by Westminster 
it sees its boundaries r<'du< <<!, its taxes probably higher 
than the South, and a probable tariff against its goods; if it 
reverses its previous decision and goes under Dublin, its 
finances pass virtually under the control of Sinn Fein, 
which all here believe will do all in its power to squeeze 
the Parliament out of existence. In either event the 
boycott goes on, so that it is not surprising that there is 
more or less bewilderment at the position in which the 
Six Counties find themselves placed." 

As a matter of fact the terms of the Treaty were 
a form of coercion of Ulster, whether justified by 
the issue at stake or not. In theory if not in practice 
the right of the Irish delegates to speak for Ireland 
as a whole had been recognised, and, again in theory, 
Ulster had been regarded as a part of the Free State 
which might legally exercise the right of secession. 
Two words, here italicised, in Article 12, are 
sufficient to prove this. That Article reads: " If 
. . . . an address is presented to his Majesty by 
both Houses of the Parliament of Northern Ireland 
to that effect, the powers of the Parliament and the 
Government of the Irish Free State shall no longer 
extend to Northern Ireland. . . ." Further, 
Ulster was compelled to buy immunity from the 
Treaty at the price of rectification of her frontier, 
which both Sinn Fein and Ulster understood as 
involving the transference of parts of Tyrone and 
Fermanagh to the South, or, as it must now be 
called, to the Free State. And this act of purchase 
must be on the initiative of Ulster. Northern 
Ireland had been promised that if she accepted the 
Government of Ireland Act in the interests of Irish 

272 IRELAND IN 1921. 

Peace, this would be the utmost demanded of her. 
Her Parliament was by this Act given certain 
powers, and the remainder were reserved to the 
Imperial Parliament. But the Treaty, without 
Ulster's consent, took the reserved services from the 
Imperial Parliament and handed them over to the 
Government of the Free State. In order to recover 
the rights awarded her under the Act, Ulster must 
present an address praying for the continuance of 
partition, an action which would certainly be 
displayed by British and Free State propagandists 
as yet another example of Ulster standing in the way 
of Irish settlement. 

That it would be to Ulster's economic advantage 
to join forces with the Free State few doubted at 
the time. In the words of a prominent Nationalist : 
* Although there are extremists in both Ulster and 
the South, there can be little doubt that they will 
come together in the future, provided the South of 
Ireland plays the game and proves herself able to 
govern. If this takes place it is obviously to the 
advantage of both. The boycott had seriously 
disturbed the business men of the North, although it 
had not so far had any far-reaching effect on 
Ulster's prosperity. A report upon it by a 
disinterested observer says : " No matter what has 
been said to the contrary, the Belfast boycott has 
not had the effect that it was meant to have, it has 
hit the wrong people. It has affected the tobacconists 
and grocers and smaller shopkeepers, but Belfast 
works and thrives on its linen and shipping, and no 
boycott by the South of Ireland can in reality hit 
those engaged in these trades, either magnates or 
workers. The Sinn Feiner has stated that he is 


aware that the linen ;m<I shipping of Belfast has not 
been affected by Southern Ireland, but that America 
is Belfast's chief customer and has been Belfast's 
chief customer in the past, and that with regard to 
linen America no longer buys as she did formerly. 
The Amrrieans. however, although they have 
allowed Sinn Fein flags to be waved, Sinn Fein 
placards to l>e displayed, and Sinn Fein loans to be 

vd. have bought linen every time they wanted it 
and will continue to do so." It is interesting 
compare this opinion with the suggestions of the 
Dail Minister of Labour referred to on page 93. 

The first important official pronouncement on the 
part of Ulster was made by Sir James Craig. He 
had proceeded to London immediately on the 
publication of the terms of the Treaty in order to 
interview the Prime Minister, and on his return to 
Belfast he made a statement in the Northern House 
of Commons. He said that never before had th 
been so complicated a situation as that which had 
been created by the signatures which had been 
hed to what was called a treaty between the 
British representatives on the one hand and the Sinn 
Fein r< on the other. Ulster was ; 

included in the treaty. In pursuance of their 
attitude throughout her leaders refused either to 
intt \\ith or to determine the settlement that 

miudit U arrived at t>< those two parties. But 

they had i to go into 

with British Mini-' lieresoever 

Ulster's rights and privileges herame affected. On 
that clear and distinct understanding the Prime 
Minister of England had assured them, and had 

11 red the Northern House of Commons, by the 


274 IRELAND IN 1921. 

statement he had permitted to be read at that table 
that by December 6th either negotiations would 
have broken down or fresh proposals would have 
been submitted, and that in the meantime the rights 
of Ulster would not be sacrificed or prejudiced. 
" I think those are the exact words," continued Sir 
James Craig. " Without going into exact details, 
I must confess that the treaty has not carried out 
that solemn pledge to this House, the Northern 
Parliament, and the Ulster people that their rights 
would not be prejudiced or sacrificed." 

Space will not permit the reproduction of the 
complete correspondence between Mr. Lloyd George 
and Sir James Craig relating to the negotiations 
which ended with the treaty. It may be found in 
the Press of December 14th. 1921. It is sufficient 
to state that it discloses the fact that the British 
Government entirely failed to remove Ulster's 
objection to an all-Ireland Parliament. But Sir 
James Craig's reply to the British Prime Minister's 
letter informing him of the terms agreed to by the 
Conference must be quoted in full in order that the 
official attitude of Ulster may be understood. 

Sir James Craig's letter is dated December 14th, 
and is as follows : 

" My dear Prime Minister, I duly received your letter 
of December 5th covering the articles of agreement for an 
Irish settlement, which latter have been most carefully 
considered by my colleagues and myself. Our formal reply 
had to be deferred until I had had an opportunity of clearly 
understanding through informal conversations with you 
certain matters in the agreement which were not quite 
definite, and also until I had consulted my party here. 

' In earlier correspondence my colleagues and I had 
made it plain that we did not wish to impede negotiations 
between the British Cabinet and the representatives of 


Sinn Fein, or intervene until matters which concerned 
( Uter were reached. In the agreed statement which you 
me on November ;'>th t<> take back to the Parliament 
of Northern Ireland you promised that the rights of Ulster 
will be in no way sacrificed or compromised until new 

? reposals had been placed before the Cabinet of Northern 
refund. It was with grave concern, therefore, that we 
noticed that an agreement, which materially involved 
Ulster's interests, had been signed by his Majesty's 

eminent without our having previously been consulted. 

" A question which vitally affects our interests is the 
decision to establish a commission to revise the boundaries 
between Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland. There 

I believe, no precedent in the history of the British 
Empire for taking- any territory from an established 
Government without its sanction. Moreover, this is a 
breach of the Government of Ireland Act, 1920, which was 
put into operation only last June, when his Majesty the 
King in person opened the Parliament of Northern Ireland. 
At our meeting on December 9th you explained that it was 
only intended to make a slight readjustment of our 
boundary line so as to bring into Northern Ireland loyalists 
who are now just outside our area, and to transfer 
correspondingly an equivalent number of those having Sinn 
Fein sympathies to tne area of the Irish Free State. The 
Lord Chancellor's speech,* however, has given encourage- 
ment to those endeavouring to read into it a different 
interpretation. As I intimated to Mr. Austen Chamberlain 
by telephone before leaving London, I reserved to my 
Government the right of dissenting from the appointment 
of any boundary commission. 

" We protest against the declared intention of your 
Government to place Northern Ireland automatically in the 
Irish Free State. Not only is this opposed to your pledge 
in our agreed statement of November 25th, but it is also 
antagonistic to the general principles of the British Empire 
in regard to the 1 HUM ties of her peoples. It is true that 
Ulster is given the ri^ht to contract out, but she can only 
do so after automatic inclusion in the Irish Free State. 
The action of the British Cabinet in this matter is a 
complete reversal of their own policy as declared in the 
King's speech at the opening of the Northern Parliament 
last June, and also in the published correspondence between 
you and Mr. de Valera. This policy was that Ulster should 

* See Note G in Appendix. 

276 IEELAND IN 1921. 

remain out until she chose of her free will to enter an all- 
Ireland Parliament. Neither explanation nor justification 
for this astounding change has been attempted. We can 
only conjecture that it is a surrender to the claims of Sinn 
Fein that her delegates must be recognised as the 
representatives of the whole of Ireland a claim which we 
cannot for a moment admit. 

" The reference to the future of Belfast Lough in your 
agreement with Sinn Fein is gravely resented by the people 
of Ulster, although they fully concur with the decision that 
the harbour defences should remain under British control. 
What right has Sinn Fein to be recognised as parties to an 
agreement concerning the defences of Belfast Lough, which 
touches only the loyal counties of Antrim and Down? 

" The principle of the Government of Ireland Act, 
1920, was to give equal rights and privileges to the North 
and to the South of Ireland. This principle has been 
completely violated by the agreement made with Sinn Fein, 
whereby the Irish Free State is relieved of many of her 
responsibilities in regard to the British Empire, and is to 
be granted financial advantages which, you have made 
clear, are expected to relieve her considerably from the 
burden of taxation which must be borne by us and other 
parts of the United Kingdom. Ulster, on the other hand, 
is only to obtain such concessions if she first consents to 
become subordinate to Sinn Fein Ireland. 

" We note with apprehension that you have abandoned 
the condition laid down in your original maximum 
concessions to Sinn Fein that there should be ' no protective 
duties or other restrictions upon the flow of trade and 
commerce between all parts of these islands.' We foresee 
in this abandonment the beginning of friction and tariff 
wars in which the United Kingdom, and more especially 
Ulster, must be gravely involved. 

' We are forced to conclude that in refusing to accept 
the same oath of allegiance taken by Canada, South Africa, 
and all other parts of the British Empire, Sinn Fein has 
demanded, and the Government conceded, a different oath, 
and therefore a different standard of loyalty, which appears 
to us to make it impossible for Ulster ever to enter the 
Irish Free State. 

" In spite of the inducements held out to Ulster under 
your arrangements with Sinn Fein, we are convinced that 
it is not in the interests of Great Britain or the Empire 
that Ulster should become subordinate to a Sinn Fein 
Government. We feel that in years to come the British 


nation will realise the advantages in having i iiern 

1 it-land a ])<>j>ul;it ion \\hich is determined to remain loyal 
i" Hriti-h ii.i.ln iins and citizenship, and we are glad to 
think that our decision will obviate the necessity 
nun i hit ing the Union Jack the flag of the British Emj 
In the long run the British nation will come to recognise 
that the action we an- taking is in their interests, and will 
accord to Northern Ireland such measure of protection 
and >uch tan- < mMderat ions as will counteract any 
disadvantages due to her position as a frontier State of the 
Uiii igdom. 

There are very many further adverse criticisms we 
might justifiably advance against the terms of the Treaty 
such as the anomalous position created by the clause 
relating to the Council of Ireland and the Judiciary, but 
they can fittingly stand over until the introduction of the 
bill embodying the terms of the Treaty." 

On the 19th, the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland 
issued the following manifesto : 

11 Brother Orangemen, This meeting of the Grand 

nge Lodge of Ireland, representative of Orangemen 

from all parts of their native land, is of opinion that the 

so-called Treaty entered into between the representatives 

of his Majesty's Government and the rebel forces of 

I r. land will break up the Empire and deprive many loyal 

/ens of their positions in the Empire without their 

consent. It is the opinion of this Grand Lodge that i: 

up loyalists will be compelled to 
defend their lives and liberties by force a result u 

' ul to them, but is the only argument accepted by 
Majesty's Government. The insincere and ambiguous 
iment called * a Treaty ' will receive conflicting 
interpretations and be a cause of further trouble betw 
Great Britain and Ireland, and that treason will brinir 
misery to its deluded followers, for a close politi* al 
connect ion i- e -ntial to the prosperity of both islands." 

Sir James Craig's letter and the pronouncement 
of the Grand Orange Lodge give some idea of the 
reception arronled to the Treaty by the Uniom 
of Ulster. On the other hand, the Sinn Fein and 
Nationalist population of the Six Counties were in 
favour of its ratification, although objecting to the 

278 IRELAND IN 1921. 

clause giving Ulster the power to contract out of the 
Free State. 

The actual effect of the Treaty in Belfast may be 
gathered from the following extract from a military 
report : 

"It is reported that the feelings of the rank and file 
of the Unionist party are turned against the military and 
that resentment is shown whenever they intervene on behalf 
of Roman Catholic persons or property. This resentment 
evinced itself by the murder of a soldier of the Norfolk 
Regiment and the attempted murder of another, when 
both were on patrol duty. 

" All the disturbances are caused by the low class 
hooligan section of each party, and the better class working 
men and business men are not in sympathy with them. 
Unfortunately, however, they are not denounced and 
decried by the public men or the Press of either party. " 

Ulster, in fact, believed that she had been 
betrayed by the British Government, and a wave of 
resentment against Britain and her people swept 
over the Province. But, despite this bitterness, it 
was Ulster's intention to cleave to the Union, rather 
than to adventure herself in the dreaded atmosphere 
of an all-Ireland Parliament. 


The Treaty having been signed, the next step was 
to secure its approval by the British Parliament 
and by Bail Eireann. The British Government 
immediately made the necessary arrangements for 
summoning Parliament on December 14th for the 
purpose, and when the matter was put to the vote 
the majorities for approving the Treaty were large 
in both Houses, despite the efforts of the independent 
Unionists, or * Die-hards ' to give them their 
topical nickname. This party put down an 
amendment in the House of Commons as follows : 

* This House regrets that the proposed settlement of 
the government of Ireland indicated in the gracious 
Speech, from the Throne involves the surrender of the rights 
of the Crown in Ireland, gives power to establish an 
independent Irish army and navy, violates pledges given to 
Ulster, and fails to safeguard the rights of the loyalist 
population in Southern Ireland. " 

This amendment was defeated by 401 votes to 
58, and a similar amendment in the House of Lords, 
standing in the name of the Duke of Northumber- 
land, was defeated by 166 votes to 47. 

But a very different fate awaited the Treaty at 
the hands of the Dail. The first move on Mr. de 

280 IRELAND IN 1921. 

Valera 's part was to issue on December 7th a state- 
ment as follows : 

" In view of the nature of the proposed Treaty with. 
Great Britain, President de Valera has sent an urgent 
summons to the members of the Cabinet in London to report 
at once, so that a full Cabinet decision may be taken. The 
hour of meeting is fixed for twelve noon to-morrow. A 
meeting of the Dail will be summoned later." 

The statement issued by Mr. de Valera as a 
result of the meeting of the Dail Cabinet has already 
been quoted (page 263). This was the first indica- 
tion that the long-expected split in the ranks of 
Sinn Fein had at length occurred. At last the 
answer was to be given to the question which had 
been agitating the minds of all Irishmen : to what 
extent would the Sinn Fein leaders rally to the 
moderate party ? The country as a whole was 
warmly in favour of the Treaty. Would the 
common-sense of its leaders rise to the occasion and 
induce them to forsake the shadow for the substance ? 

Mr. Griffith promptly replied to Mr. de Valera 's 
manifesto in the following statement, in which he 
was supported by Mr. Collins : 

" I have signed the Treaty between Ireland and Great 

" I believe this Treaty will lay the foundation of peace 
and friendship between the two nations. 

" What I have signed I shall stand by, in the belief 
that the end of the conflict of centuries is at hand/' 

The Publicity Department of Dail Eireann 
issued the following a few hours later : 

" President de Valera to-day made the following state- 
ment. To prevent a misunderstanding the public should 
realise : 

1. That the Treaty signed by the plenipotentiaries 


must be ratified hy Dull ) no less than by 

tin- HriiMi i -Hi in order to take effect. 

2. That the usual r..ur> would be for the Cabinet 
mtrodiK a treaty agreement as a Cabinet 

In the present case, owing- to the fact that in the later 
stages of the negotiation^ the views of the plenipotentiaries 
d liter from those of certain members of the Cabinet, this 
course cannot he taken. A motion tor the ratification will 
now he introduced by Mr. Griffith, as Chairman of the 

In the interval before the Dail meeting, which 
NN us timed to coincide with the meeting of the 
British Parliament, the case at issue between the 
two parties in Sinn Fein, which may now be 
termed without reservation the extremists and the 
moderates, became clearer. The moderate section 
of the people of Ireland took the line that since 
Ireland had sent plenipotentiaries to London to come 
to terms with the British Government, the honour of 
the country demanded that the terms which bore 
the signature of those plenipotentiaries would be 
ratified. To this Mr. de Valera made the following 
reply :- 

" I have been asked whether the honour of Ireland 
is not involved in the ratification of the agreement arrived 
at. The honour of Ireland is not involved. The 
plenipotentiaries were sent on the distinct understanding 
that any agreement they made was suhjert to ratification 
by Dail Eireann and by the country, and could be rejected 
by Dail Eireann if it did not commend itself to Dail 

ann, or by the country if it did not commend itself to 
the nun The Parliament of Britain and the people 

of Britain will, on their side, similarly consider the 
agreement solely on its merits. If the English Parliament 

res, it can reject it; so ran the British people. Ratiti- 

>n is, then, no mere empty formality. The United 
-ed to ratify a treaty signed even by its 
President. The honour of the nation is not involved unless 
and until the treaty is ratifi- 

282 IRELAND IN 1921. 

Mr. de Valera was correct in his contention. 
The delegates had signed the Treaty as a gamble, if 
it may be put so crudely. They knew that a section 
of their own Cabinet would not accept it, but they 
counted upon sufficient support both in the Cabinet 
and in the body of the Bail and of the country to 
enable them to carry out the approval of the Treaty 
despite opposition. Opinion in Dublin and indeed 
throughout Ireland was at this time that the Treaty 
would be approved in the Dail by a majority of at 
least two to one. 

When the Dail met the first speaker was Mr. de 
Valera. He set out the circumstances under which 
the delegates were appointed, and explained the 
terms of reference and the directions given to them. 
It was understood when the plenipotentiaries were 
appointed that they would report to the Cabinet, 
which would frame a policy. It was necessary that 
the plenipotentiaries should be either the whole 
Cabinet or some persons themselves members of the 
Cabinet. What they did was to select three 
members of the Cabinet and two others. It was 
obvious that if these were to be in a position to do 
the work they should have full powers of negotiation. 
At the two meetings of the Dail at which they 
were appointed, he had made it quite clear that 
the plenipotentiaries should have full power to 
negotiate, with the understanding that when they 
reported the Cabinet would decide its policy, and 
whatever arrangements they arrived at would have 
to be submitted to the Dail for ratification. The 
question of committing the country without 
ratification by the Dail was out of the question. 
In the event of a difference of opinion among the 


plenipotentiaries it was the plenii>otentiarie8 tin- 
selves \vh<> had the responsibility of making up their 
minds and deciding. The Bail had the right of 
refusing to agree if it thought right. It was 
obvious that the Cabinet and the plenipotentiaries 
must keep in the closest touch. They did that 
They were in agreement up to a certain point. A 
definite question had to be decided and they did 
not agree. 

Mr. de Valera then gave the actual text of the 
instructions which he wrote at a Cabinet meeting 
on October 7th, on the eve of the delegates' departure 
for London. It was as follows : 

"1. The plenipotentaries have full powers, as defined 
in their credentials. 

It is understood, however, that before decisions 
are finally reached on the main questions that a despatch 
notifying the intention of making these decisions will be 
sent to the members of the Cabinet in Dublin, and that a 
reply will be awaited by the plenipotentiaries before the 
final decision is made. 

"3. It is also understood that the complete text of 
the draft Treaty about to be sigried will be similarly 
submitted to Dublin and reply awaited. 

"4. In case of breakdown, the text of the final 
proposals from our side will be similarly submit 

" 5. It is understood that the Cabinet in Dublin will 
be kept regularly informed of the progress of the 

Mr. de Valera went on to explain that this was 
all done with the exception of paragraph 3. It 
was obvious that a Treaty that would be a lasting 
agreement between the two nations, and which 
might have the effect of governing the relations of 
the nations for centuries, was a document which, 
even when the fundamental principle had been 
agreed upon, should be most carefully examined. 

284 IRELAND IN 1921. 

He had to say that the final text was not submitted, 
and that there was a previous draft before the final 
text. On that he could not sign, and he did not 
think the other members of the Cabinet would. He 
felt that if paragraph 3 had been carried out to the 
letter they might have got complete agreement 
between the Cabinet and the plenipotentiaries. 
This was a case of a difference of opinion between 
two bodies which might naturally arise, and 
therefore he was anxious that it would not in any 
way interfere with the discussion on the merits of 
the Treaty which the plenipotentiaries had brought 
back. The vital question, the main question at 
issue, was decided about the third week in October 
by the Cabinet, and those in favour of the decision 
then taken were certainly a majority of the Cabinet, 
though the whole Cabinet was not present at the 
meeting. Mr. de Valera closed his speech with a 
repetition of his offer to explain the circumstances 
more fully at a private session. 

This speech was highly interesting, in that it 
revealed Mr. de Valera's desire to avoid the split 
between the moderates and the extremists extending 
by the charge of bad faith against the delegates. 
His one hope of uniting Sinn Fein once more lay in 
conciliation and in the avoidance if possible of a 
direct vote for or against the Treaty as it stood. 
His attitude throughout the deliberations which 
followed must be considered in this light. Another 
interesting fact revealed in this speech is that the 
Bail Cabinet had considered the question of 
allegiance at the time of the first * crisis * in the 
Conference, and had decided against its acceptance. 

In the course of subsequent discussion Mr. 


Collins read the uvdnitials served on each member 
of the (It-legation, and referred to by Mr. de Valera, 
as follows :- 

11 In virtue of the auth<.> (! in me by Dail 

inn. I hereliy appoint here follow the names and 

designations of the delegates) a^ Knv<\> Plenipptentiariai 

he circled (Miveniineiit ot tlie Republic of Ireland 
negotiate and conclude on Kehali <d' Ireland with the 
irprrM'niatives of his JJritannir Majesty George V. a 
treaty or treaties of settlement, association, and 
accommodation between Ireland and the community of 
nations known as the British Commonwealth. In witness 
hereof I hereunder sul>cril>e my name as President, 
.rned) EAM.N ii. V \i KKA." 

It also transpired in the course of debate 
that Mr. Lloyd George had ' seen ' this precious 
document, \vhuh a^ain asserted the position of the 
delegates as the representatives of an independent 
nation. But the credentials had never been 
' presented ' to him, nor had he ' accepted ' them. 
The blind eye had once more been put to the 

The Dail then went into private session, with 
the intention of resuming public discussion on the 
motion for the ratification of the Treaty on the 
following day. But it appeared that in private 
session the members of the Cabinet had more to say 
to one another and to their supporters in the Dail 
in justification of their views than had been 
anticipated. For the rest of the week the private 
session continued, and it was not until the 16th that 
announcement was issued under the joint signatures 
of Messrs, de Valera and Griffith, in itself a 
significant innovation. This announcement ran : 

" The private session of Dail Eireann will end 
to-morrow evening. The motion for ratification of the 

286 IRELAND IN 1921. 

treaty will be taken up at the public session on Monday 
next at eleven a.m. We are confident that the Irish people 
will continue to maintain the same calm dignity and 
discipline which they have heretofore display ed." 

During this period of private session, Mr. de 
Valera produced and expounded an alternative to 
the Treaty, which did not include the recognition 
of the Republic. There seems no doubt that this 
was merely a tactical move, and that neither Mr. de 
Valera or his followers desired for a moment the 
acceptance by the Dail of this alternative. The 
idea at the back of Mr. de Valera's mind throughout 
was the avoidance of a direct vote on the Treaty. 
The submission of an alternative might accomplish 
this. Rejection of the Treaty meant war, and Mr. 
de Valera knew that the prospect of a renewal of 
hostilities was the most powerful argument on the 
side of the delegates. If he could so contrive 
matters that the Treaty could be rejected and at 
the same time the British Government committed 
to a fresh period of negotiation, his own supremacy 
would prevail, and the moderate party in the Dail, 
which had, so to speak, sprung up in the night, 
would return to its allegiance. Mr. de Valera's 
alternative, which become known as ' Document 
No. 2,' is printed in the Appendix to this book.* 

The Dail met again in public session on the 19th. 
Mr. Griffith, in moving the ratification of the 
Treaty, referred to Mr. de Valera's alternative as 
' a mere quibbling of words.' By it the President 
was asking them to throw away the Treaty and to 
go back to war. What had the delegates got ? 
They had come back from London with the 
evacuation of British troops, who had been in 
* See Note H in Appendix. 


Ireland 700 years; they had got a full right of fiscal 
control; equality for Ireland with all the other 
nations of the Commonwealth ; and equal views with 
others in peace and war. Yet they were told that 
the Treaty was a poor thing, and that the Irish 
people were to go back on it and fight for a quibble. 
But the people were not sophists, and the men of 
words would not deceive them. Mr. Griffiths then 
read a letter from Mr. Lloyd George undertaking 
to withdraw the Forces of the Crown from the South 
of Ireland when the articles of agreement were 
ratified, an announcement which was greeted with 

But the most dramatic moment of the day came 
when Mr. Barton, one of the delegates, was 
speaking. He told the story of the last hours of the 
Conference. " Mr. Lloyd George gave us till ten 
o'clock to make up our minds whether we should 
stand by our proposals for external association, face 
war, and maintain a Republic, or whether we should 
accept inclusion in the British Empire and make 
peace. The responsibility for that war was to rest 
directly on two of the delegates who refused to sign. 
For myself I declared I could not accept that 
responsibili And accordingly he had signed 

the agreement. 

The following day was devoted to public session, 
with a short interval for discussion of military 
matters in private. During the public session the 
most notable contributions to the debate were those 
of Mr. Etchingham, who denounced the Treaty; Mr. 
Finian Lynch, who in supporting it deplored the 
emotional element that had Uvn introduced into the 
discussion, saying " The bones of the dead have been 

288 IRELAND IN 1921. 

rattled indecently in the face of this Assembly ' ' ; 
and Mr. Sean Milroy, who stigmatised the 
manoeuvres of Mr. de Valera as asking members to 
withhold their support to the Treaty in the 
expectation that something better would follow. 
Dr. McCartan, who had been the Sinn Fein envoy in 
America, made a speech in the course of which he 
expressed the sentiment of a large section of 
American sympathisers with the movement. He 
said that a Republic for Ireland was dead. They 
had not a united people, nor had they a united Dail, 
and he questioned whether they had a united army. 
The Republic was no longer a factor in international 
politics. It was the duty of the Cabinet to submit 
a policy, and they had failed in this duty. As a 
Republican he could not endorse the Treaty, but he 
would not vote for chaos and that meant that he 
would not vote against ratification. Rejection 
meant war, and every man who voted for rejection 
should be prepared for war. 

On the 21st Mr. Gavan Dufiy, one of the 
delegates, was the first speaker. He said that he 
was going to recommend the Treaty very reluctantly, 
because he saw no alternative. The Treaty inflicted 
a grievous wound on the dignity of the Irish nation 
by inflicting an alien king upon them. This fact 
remained, although the framers of the constitution 
could subsequently relegate the King of England to 
exterior darkness, which was within their powers 
to a large extent. " Yet I signed. I will tell you 
why. On December 4th a Conference was held, 
attended by Mr. Griffith, Mr. Barton, and myself, 
at which Lloyd George broke with us definitely, 
subject to confirmation by his Cabinet next morning. 


That rnijjht or might not have been final. On the 
in-xt day another Confereno held, attended by 

Mr. Griffith. Mr. Collins, and Mr. Barton, and 

er four and a half hours' discussion our delegates 
returned and informed us that four times they had 
all but broken, and that the fate of Ireland was to 
be decided that night. Lloyd George had issued to 
them an ultimatum to this effect : * It must now be 

;ee or war. My messenger goes to-night to 
Belfast. I have here two answers one the Treaty, 
the other a rupture; and if it be rupture it is 
immediate war. The only way to avert that 
immediate war is to bring me the signature of every 
one of the plenipotentiaries with a further under- 
taking to recommend the Treaty to Dail Eireann and 
to bring me that by ten o'clock. ' * * I shall not forget 
the anguish of that night. Again this ultimatum 
may have been bluff, but every one of those who had 
heard the Prime Minister believed beyond doubt 
that this time he was not play-acting, and that he 
meant what he said." Mr. Duffy concluded by 
recommending the Dail to ratify the Treaty, on the 
grounds that there was no possible alternative. 

Mr. Duggan, another of the delegates, said that 
in recommending the acceptance of the Treaty he 
was acting in accordance with the wishes of the 
people who had elected him. If under the terms of 
the Treaty the Irish people could not achieve their 
freedom, it was the fault of the Irish people, not of 
the Treaty. Mr. Cosi/rave supported the Treaty on 
the grounds that it L r a\v Ireland far more than all 
the patriots from O'Connell to Parnell had hoped 
for. After a final speech by Miss McSwinoy. whieh 
full of fierce denunciation of the Treaty and 


290 IRELAND IN 1921. 

lasted for nearly three hours, the Dail adjourned 
for the day. 

The most important speech on the morrow was 
that of Mr. Mulcahy, Chief of Staff of the I.R.A. 
He said that none of the men wanted the Treaty, 
or the Crown or the representatives of the Crown. 
No one wanted harbours occupied by the forces of 
the enemy, and no one wanted Partition. But he 
saw no alternative to the acceptance of the Treaty, 
because it definitely secured to Ireland a Parliament 
with full executive and administrative powers, 
and an executive in Ireland responsible to that 
Parliament. They in Ireland were not in a 
position, military or otherwise, to drive the enemy 
from their ports. They had not been able to drive 
the enemy beyond a good-sized police barracks. 
Should they grow to equality with their old enemy 
by taking complete control of their resources, or 
should they take the chance of war not with an 
adequate kind of military force, but with a very 
small force, sufficient to make their country a 
resisting people for many years, but certainly not 
sufficient to win the war? They had suffered a 
defeat, but even in that defeat they had got great 
powers for the Irish people. 

At the close of the day's debate the question rose 
as to its continuation, and it was agreed to adjourn 
until January 3rd. The Cabinet would continue to 
do its duty in the meanwhile, and no speeches were 
to be made on either side during the interval. 

The prolongation of the debate in the Dail was a 
great disappointment to those in England who 
desired the ratification of the Treaty. It was felt, 
with some show of reason, that the Dail was standing 


entirely aloof from the known wishes of the Ii 
people, and, for the matter of that, that its members 
\\rre entirely out of touch with the views of their 
constituents. The majority of the I.R.A. leaders 
had declared themselves on the side of the Treaty, 
but it was very doubtful how far they spoke for 
their followers. It was not likely, even if the 
Treaty were rejected by the Dail, that this would 
be the end of discussion. Mr. de Valera's Document 
No. 2, which had not yet been published but of which 
every Dail member possessed a copy, must be 
discussed as an alternative, and if accepted by the 
Dail, would no doubt form the basis of a second 
delegation to the British Government, the members 
of which would be selected from those known to be 
faithful to the ideas of the President. Probably, 
even at this period, none of the leaders of Sinn 
Fein believed in his heart that either the Treaty or 
Document No. 2 could afford a permanent solution 
of the Irish question. The idea of an eventual 
Republic was too deeply ingrained in the rising 
generation of men of the type that joined the ranks 
of the I.R.A. for its abandonment without a 
struggle. After the disclosures of the Minister of 
Defence in private session, and the frank speech of 
Mr. Mulcahy, few even of the most desperate in 
Ireland can have continued to believe that the best 
\\ay to secure the Republic was by force of arms at 
that time. The question was whether it were better 
to accept the Treaty or Mr. de Valera's alternative 

i stepping 

On the iMUh a statement by Mr. Lloyd George 
\sas published in the Press, \\hich contained a 
warning to those who supported Mr. de Valera's 

292 IRELAND IN 1921. 

scheme. It is worth quoting in full : 

" No British statesman could go further than we have 
gone. No British statesman could consider any proposal 
involving Ireland being out of the Empire. 

* The Treaty places Ireland on an equality with the 
other States of the Empire, gives Ireland the same claim to 
membership of the League of Nations, and every right that 
Canada has in law, fact, and constitutional practice; and 
not merely the rejection, but the alteration even of the 
Treaty by Ireland or Great Britain would render it null 
and void. This would indeed be deplorable in the interests 
of both countries. The British Government have gone to 
their utmost limit in the Treaty, and to re-open the 
discussion which was closed only after the most exhaustive 
consideration of every point would be a fruitless proceeding 
and is impossible. 

" A committee consisting of British Ministers, presided 
over by the Colonial Secretary, has been set up to deal with 
the evacuation of the British Forces, the settling of an 
amnesty, and the making of all necessary arrangements 
on the British side for transferring full executive 
responsibility to an Irish provisional Government. The 
work of this committee, which has been in continuous 
session up to Christmas and had proposed to sit through 
the Christmas holidays, is now unavoidably held up pending 
approval of the Treaty ; but on approval it would be carried 
through with the utmost possible despatch. 

" It is the intention of the British Government to hand 
over without delay their responsibilities to the provisional 
Government which will function during the period of 
transition required for the setting up of the Irish Free 
State Administration. " 

Stronger inducement could hardly have been 
held out to the members of the Bail to ratify the 
Treaty. After a blunt announcement that the 
British Government were prepared to go no further, 
and would not even consider Document No. 2, Mr. 
Lloyd George goes on to catalogue the advantages to 
be secured for Ireland by the ratification of the 
Treaty, and gently deplores the fact that the 
delay is withholding him from pouring out these 


advantages with both hands. It sounded so idyllic 
that, its one of the members of the Bail remarked 
at the time, it seemed as if ' there must be some 
catch in it somewher 

There is one reference in the Prime Minister's 
statement which requires some explanation, the 
phrase relating to the settling of an amnesty. 
Immediately upon the signing of the Treaty, the 
British Government had issued an order as follows : 

" In view of the agreement signed yesterday between 
the represei <>f the Hriti>h Government and the 

Irish Delegation of Plenipotentiaries, his Majesty has 
approved of the release forthwith of all persons now 

rued under Regulation 14b of the Restoration of Order 
in In-land Regulations. Instructions have been given 
ar ordingly." 

Regulation 14b covered the cases of those who 
had been interned without conviction of definite 
offences, but not those who had been imprisoned by 
sentence of Court Martial or otherwise. The 
release of these men had been effected at once, this 
step having been insisted upon by the Irish 
Delegates. An agitation immediately began for the 
release of political prisoners who were actually 
serving sentences, and it is to these men that the 
Prime Minister referred. 

During the days that elapsed between the 
adjournment of the Bail and its reassembly, frantic 
efforts were made by both parties to determine the 
extent of their support. On the surface it appeared 
that the moderates were gaining strength, and that 
the body of Sinn Fein opinion was behind them. 
Resolutions in favour of the Treaty poured in from 
local bodies in the provinces, and no observer could 
form any other conclusion than that the people of 

294 IRELAND IN 1921. 

the cities were almost unanimously in support of it. 
But the extremists bided their time and made very 
little show of their views, trusting rather to the 
argument of the pistol than to eloquence, should the 
split lead to an appeal to the country, as seemed 
probable. The opinion of the average Dublin 
citizen at this time is ably presented in the following 
words, which are those of a contemporary report : 

" The phurch in Ireland is unquestionably whole- 
heartedly in support of the Treaty, in spite of the 
apparently neutral attitude of the hierarchy at their late 
meeting." (For the statement issued after this meeting 
see page 267). " Various reasons are given for this attitude. 
It is said that the Bishops from the North are so strongly 
opposed to partition that a unanimous approval was 
impossible. It is also said that though individually all 
approved they could not do so collectively because of the 
pressure brought to bear on them chiefly by those in favour 
of ratification. This may have been in deference to the 
prejudices of Ulster and with a view to future Union, or it 
may have been felt that any appearance of active inter- 
vention by the Church would have been resented in Dail 
Eireann and would prejudice approval of the agreement. 

" There is every sign that at least Arthur Griffith 
and Michael Collins will keep their word and that their 
oaths may be trusted, but it is doubtful whether the same 
can be said of all their followers. Richard Mulcahy's 
speech is likely to have irritated many of the I.R.A. who 
had persuaded themselves to believe that they did defeat 
or could have defeated the Army and Police in open fight, 
but it probably had a great and steadying effect on both 
the extremists and the people. 

" It should be remembered that the Dail is, considered 
as a Parliament,. very much in its infancy and consequently 
both very much on its dignity and very confused in its 
notions as to how that dignity should be maintained. Also 
that probably every member wants his or her constituency 
to hear their words. This, coupled with the weakness and 
inefficiency of the Speaker, resulted in the astonishing flow 
of words and the almost complete failure to keep to the 
point either in speeches or interruptions which have made 
them the world's tragi-comedy of Christmas 1921. 


' Ih. t'lture must depend on what support the 
(iriflith-('<>ll ion can pet in Ireland. It would 

be pnv.ible t mobilise nearly all the brains and all the 
{'["I- - classes on their side, and, if they are 

siipp..rte<l, hut not obviously, by his Majesty's Government, 
it is quit.- pi.s>ihl- that eventually they may he raOOWfal, 
though at present their difficulties are considerable." 

Just before the reassembly of the Dail the 
extremist party began the publication of their o\vn 
organ, which they called The Republic of Ireland. 
The policy of this paper was outlined in a leading 
article in its first issue, dated January 3rd, 1922 : 

' We shall labour to unite the Irish people, temporarily 
disunited under duress and the temptation of an easy 
peace, upon the only basis upon which unity is possible 
loyalty to the lri>h Republic established once for all in 
1919 and never to be forsworn without dishonour. We 
fear a peace which destroys our nationhood and 
disestablishes the Republic of Ireland. That peace we 
cannot and will not accept. Britain can have her safe- 
guards if she wants them, but we shall give them as one 
independent nation to another. 

" We are ready to associate ourselves with Britain as 
one sovereign people with another, but to be included 
among the possessions of Britain, to derive our rights as 
a people from the Parliament of Britain these are things 
our nation will not do. No representative of our people 
had, or could have, the right to enter into a treaty 
annulling our national independence.'* 

The first day of the reassembly of the Dail gave 
an opportunity for a display of bad manners by the 
Countess Markievicz, and an offer to the extremists 
by Mr. Collins. 

' I will make a suggestion," said the latter, " whereby 
the Dail can avoid division. Rightly or wrongly, deputies 
or no deputies, h people have accepted the Tre. 

I have my own feelings about this Treaty, feelings about 
it very much keener, perhaps, than those of the deputies 
who are against it. But I believe that the Treaty was 
inevitable. . . . The proposition is that you should 
allow the Treaty to go through, that you * allow the 

296 IRELAND IN 1921. 

provisional Government to come into existence, and if 
necessary fight the provisional Government for a Republic 

In reply to this speech Mr. de Valera issued an 
appeal " To the people of Ireland," in which he 
implored them not to support the Treaty, which he 
denounced in the strongest possible terms. 

" To the utmost limit to which they could go our 
delegates had gone to arrive at an agreement such as this 
nation could fullv accept and in full appreciation of the 
governing conditions. By the threat of war they were 
dragged beyond that limit, and the deed and circumstances 
will ever be remembered by Irishmen as the crowning act 
of infamy of England's rulers against Ireland. 
You, the people, can retrieve the position even at this 
eleventh hour." 

After this there could be no further talk of 
compromise or agreement between the two parties. 

Very little of interest was said during the course 
of the discussion on the 4th, but at the end of the 
session the famous Document No. 2 was released for 
publication, not without criticism that it had been 
so amended since it was originally circulated to 
members of the Dail that it was in effect Document 
No. 3. On the following day the most important 
speech was that of Mr. 0' Duffy, who said that he 
was a member of an unofficial committee of the Dail 
which had been trying to find common ground. On 
the previous night substantial agreement had been 
reached on a number of very vital questions, making 
it possible to retain the services of the President for 
the nation and possibly avoiding a split in the 
country. Mr. Mulcahy moved that the Dail should 
meet in private the following day, in order to discuss 
a statement to be prepared by Mr. 0' Duffy's 


But an extraordinary enterprise carried out by a 
party of Republicans from Cork on the 4th seemed 
to show that there was very little likelihood of 
their being bound to any agreement that could be 
entered into. The correspondent of the London 
Times was calmly kidnapped while he was lunching 
in the heart of Dublin, and taken in a motor car to 
Cork to " stand his trial " before a Republican 
court. His offence was presumably contained in a 
series of articles which he had written in the Times 
during the previous few days, in which he had 
fearlessly described the conditions in various parts 
of Ireland. In the course of these articles he had 
referred to the attitude of the I.R.A. towards the 
Treaty. Mr. Kay was subsequently released and 
brought back to Dublin, but not until an energetic 
protest had been made to the Dail by the corres- 
pondents of the world's Press then assembled in 
the city. 

On the morning of the 6th the Dail met in 
private session and refused to accept the suggestions 
of Mr. O'Duffy's Committee, on the initiative of 
the extremists, who had all along been opposed to 
compromise. This matter having been disposed of, 
the public session was resumed in the afternoon. 
Mr. de Valera opened the debate with a speech which 
began with an explanation of the difficulty of 
governing the country with a divided Cabinet and 
ended with the declaration of his intention of 
resigning from the office of * Chief executive officer 
of the Irish Republic.' So much of interest to the 
student of recent Irish history was revealed in his 
speech that it must be quoted at some length. 

" I entered politics as a soldier, as one who stood for 

298 IRELAND IN 1921. 

the principles of those who proclaimed the Republic in 
1916. . . . When I came out of prison I found the 
present Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Griffith) was the 
head of the Sinn Fein organisation, while the present 
Minister of Defence (Mr. Burgess or Brugha) was the head 
of the Irish Volunteers. I found that they differed then 
as fundamentally as they do to-day, and I found that I was 
a sort of connecting link between the two. At the first 
Convention of Sinn Fein we devised a basis on which we 
have worked so successfully for four years the basis of 
the Sinn Fein Constitution. Since then I have been the 
link between the two, and at the Convention Mr. Griffith 
surrendered his position as head of the Sinn Fein 
organisation to me, and I was elected to the headship. Mr. 
Burgess also surrendered to me, as the senior officer in the 
Army at the time, the headship of the Irish Volunteers, 
and it was the combination of these two in me which 
enabled the two sides to work together. When I went to 
America to try to get recognition for the Republic, I 
nominated as Acting President Mr. Griffith. In every 
Cabinet I formed I took care to have the two sides properly 
represented. ... I felt that the unity of those forces 
was absolutely essential to national success, and until 
December 6th last I succeeded. On December 6th a 
document was signed which irrevocably sundered that 
connection. On October 25th I saw the danger and I found 
it my duty to send to the delegation in London what I 
regarded as a warning. I wrote to the head of the 
delegation : ' I received the minutes of the seventh 
session and your letter of the 24th. We are all here 
at one that there can be no question of asking the Irish 
people to enter into an agreement which would make them 
subject to the Crown or demand from them allegiance to 
the British King. If war is the alternative we can only 
face it, and I think the sooner the other side is made to 
realise it the better/ 

" That was definite. On December 2nd the plenipo- 
tentiaries came back with a document which represented the 
proposals of the British Government at that stage a 
document which was clearly inconsistent with our position 
and my position. ... I therefore rejected that 
document and made it clear to the Chairman of the 
delegation that it would be unacceptable to us." 

Mr. de Valera then tendered his resignation, but 
offered himself for re-election. 


"If you re-elect me, I will have to have the rig] 
have a Cabin- > <>t those with me and arting as a unified 
body. Next I will have to have the full use of the 
resources of the IN-puhlu- to defend the Republic. If you 
elect me by a majority I will throw out that Treaty, even 
if my Government goes down. Next I will bring from the 
Cabinet that document I have mentioned (' Document No. 
2 ')> and will offer it to the British people as a genuine 
Pea< - a generous offer of peace, and if it is 

turned down we will utiek to the Sinn Fein Constitution as 
we have done, deny the right of the British Parliament to 
legislate for Ireland, and will make use of any and every 
means available to make the power of England impoten 
hold Ireland in subjection by force or otherwise." 

On the following day, January 7th, after a 
powerful speech by Mr. Griffith, the original motion 
was put to the vote, and the Treaty was ratified by 
64 votes to 57. The moderate party had won, and 
the policy of Mr. Griffith was justified. Ratifica- 
tion of the Treaty was the first step in the ultimate 
triumph of Sinn Fein as conceived by him and 
by his followers over Fenianism and the Irish 
Republican Brotherhood. Both moved towards the 
same end, the independence of Ireland, but by 
different paths. The original Sinn Feiners believed 
that their object could be secured by peaceful means, 
but more drastic than those of the Nationalists whom 
they superseded. The extremists of all shades 
believed that their object could only be secured by 
violence. As Mr. de Valera had said in his speech 
quoted above, the alliance between the two had 
endured for four years, and this alliance might have 
ended in a compromise, had the extremists been of a 
nature that admitted argument. But the signing 
of the Treaty made the support of the extremists 
unnecessary to the moderates, and the latter, feeling 
their support in the country, determined to strike 

300 IRELAND IN 1921. 

out for themselves, and if possible to form their 
Free State without further aid from the powers of 
violence. The coalition which had been known as 
Sinn Fein, and which had worked together with 
greater devotion than any other coalition recorded in 
history, was irremediably split into its component 
parts. Henceforth the originators of the movement, 
the original Sinn Feiners, were to be on the side of 
law and order, the men who had inherited the spirit 
of the Fenians and were imbued with the teaching of 
the Secret Societies* continued upon their path, 
which must inevitably lead to chaos and to the 
subversion of all established government. But now 
the Government which they attacked was no longer 
English but Irish, the men killed in defence of 
it were men acting under the authority of their 
own nation. 

It is beyond the scope of this book to record the 
events that followed the ratification of the Treaty 
by the Dail, but it may be mentioned that on the 
following day Mr. de Valera was defeated upon his 
offering himself for re-election, by the narrow 
margin of two votes. Almost exactly a year before 
his defeat he had landed in Ireland from America, 
having failed in his mission to that country, but 
prepared for a prolonged struggle which should 
somehow, he knew not how, end with the recognition 
of the Irish Republic. In the short space of that 
year he had seen the people of Ireland abandon the 
Republic and become reconciled to Partition as a 
means to an end. Abandoned by Irishmen at home 
and abroad, he still continued unshaken in his belief 
that the destiny of Ireland was to be found in the 

* See Note I in Appendix. 


i>lishment of an all-Ireland Republic, and that 
no other status ou^ht for a moment to be considered 
f'v her people. But in spite of his efforts, in spite of 
the powers he represented, he saw Ireland become a 
nation before his eyes, and the dream of the 
Republic, to which he had adhered with fanatical 
t'ervour throughout his career, relegated once more 
to the distant and uncertain future. The year 1921 
had indeed witnessed the birth of the Irish nation, 
but it had also witnessed the downfall of the 
Republican cause and the return of Sinn Fein to 
the realisation of practical politics. 



On March. 26th premises situated at 11, Molesworth 
Street, Dublin, were entered by a party of Auxiliaries, and 
were found to contain the Publicity Department of Dail 
Eireann. Literally tons of papers and documents were 
seized, and among 1 them the whole apparatus for the 
production of the Irish Bulletin, together with the list of 
its recipients. It occurred to one of the officers on the staff 
of the Chief of Police that a very good way of countering 
the Sinn Fein propaganda would be to continue the issue 
of the Bulletin, imitating its style, and attributing to it 
the most astounding sentiments. I cannot forebear quoting 
a passage from one of these bogus Bulletins, which almost 
exactly follows the verbiage of a passage in an issue of the 
genuine Bulletin a few days previously. 

" The tactics of the Republican Forces have been 
masterly in handling the situation created by the English 
Government in flooding Ireland with ex-soldiers in the 
uniform of police. In no single recorded case have the 
Republican Forces attacked a single policeman with the 
odds less than six to one. By this strategic handling of 
all combats victory has invariably rested with the 
Republicans. Science in war, as practised by the young 
men of Ireland, has staggered humanity and it will be a 
long time ere humanity recovers from the blow." 

This example is merely typical. The Publicity Depart- 
ment then set to work to resume publication of the genuine 
Bulletin, stamping their issue ' Official Copy/ a measure 
immediately imitated by the editor of the bogus Bulletin. 
Both genuine and bogus then proclaimed their productions 
as the only original, and denounced the contents of the 
opposition sheet as forgeries. During the period of this 
comedy the BuUftiji lost any authority it may have had, 
owing to the impossibility of distinguishing false from true. 

304 IRELAND IN 1921. 


The part played by Mr. Cope in the negotiations was 
recognised by General Smuts, who sent him a hearty letter 
of congratulation and appreciation on the occasion of the 
signing of the Treaty in December. 


I have not thought it necessary to reproduce in full the 
correspondence between Mr. Lloyd George and Mr. de 
Yalera. The full text of the various letters and telegrams 
will be found in Command Papers Nos. 1502 and 1539 
entitled Correspondence relating to the Proposals of H.M . 
Government for an Irish Settlement and Further Corres- 
pondence relating to the Proposals of H.M. Government 
for an Irish Settlement, respectively. 


For details of the constitution of Sinn Fein, the 
authority and composition of Ard Fheis, and the aims of 
the Irish Eepublican Brotherhood, see H. B. C. Pollard's 
Secret Societies of Ireland and my Administration of 
Ireland, 1920. 


The following is the Annex to the Treaty : 

1 . The following are the specific facilities required : 
(a) Dockyard Port at Berehaven. Admiralty 
property and rights to be retained as at the 
date hereof. Harbour defences to remain in 
charge of British care and maintenance 

(fe) Queenstown. Harbour defences to remain 
in charge of British care and maintenance 
parties. Certain mooring buoys to be retained 
for use of his Majesty's ships. 

(c) Belfast Lough. Harbour defences to remain 
in charge of British care and maintenance 


(d) Lough Swilly. Harbour def< remain 

in < (large of British care and maintenance 

(e) Av Facilities in the neighbourhood 
of the above ports for coastal defence by air. 

(/) Oil Furl Morage 

To be offered for sale 

Haul bowline 


to commercial companies 
under guarantees that pur- 
chasers shall maintain a 
certain minimum stock for 

Admiralty purposes. 

2. A Convention shall be made between the British 
Government and the Government of the Irish Free S 

to give effect to the following conditions: 

(a) That submarine cables shall not be landed or 
wireless stations for communication with 
places outside Ireland be established ex< 
t>y agreement with the British Governmc 
that the existing cable landing rights and 
wireless concessions shall not be withdrawn 
except by agreement with the British Govern- 
ment; and that the British Government shall 
be entitled to land additional submarine 
hies or establish additional wireless stations 
for communication with places outside 

(6) That lighthouses, buoys, be. >nd any 

navigational marks or navigational aids shall 
be maintained by the (i'.vernmeiit of the 
Irish Free State as at the date hereof and 
shall not l<c removed or added to except by 
agreement with the British Government. 

(c) Tli signal stations shall be ch^ed down 

and left in charge of care and maintenance 

panic*, the (iovernment of the Irish Free 

1 the option of taking them 

n and working them for commercial 

purpose^ subject to Admiralty inspect imi 

and guaranteeing the upkeep of existing 

tele.LM-aphie comm uii ication therewith. 

3. A Convention shall be made between the same 
Governments for the regulation of ( mmunication ly 

306 IRELAND IN 1921. 


The " Black and Tans " and the Auxiliary Division of 
the R.I.C. are frequently confounded. For a detailed 
description of the two forces see my Administration of 
Ireland, 1920. 


The Lord Chancellor, speaking at Birmingham 
on December 6th, had said : 

" If Ulster elects to remain more closely associated 
with us, there must, in our judgment, be rectification of 
frontiers. We do not propose to interfere with the 
arrangement of a year ago in relation to counties, but we 
propose that a boundary commission shall examine into the 
boundary lines with a view to rendering impossible such 
an unhappy incident as that of a few days ago, in which 
the popularly elected bodies of one or two of these districts 
were excluded from their habitations by representatives of 
the Northern Parliament on the ground that they were not 
discharging their duties properly. I am making no 
criticism, but such a system cannot be consistent with the 
maintenance of order. That boundary must be rectified. 
It may be rectified on one side or the other. It is not an 
artificial boundary, but one which can be worked out with 
infinite flexibility." 

The incident referred to by the Lord Chancellor 
was the action of the Northern Parliament in 
passing a Bill dealing with the situation created by 
the action of certain public bodies which had 
proclaimed their intention of ignoring the Northern 
Parliament. Under this Bill powers were sought 
to exclude the members of these bodies from their 


The following were Mr. de Valera's alternative 
proposals, known as ' Document No. 2 ' : 


In l>ring to an end the long and ruinous conflict 

between Great Britain and Ireland by a sure and lasting 
peace, honourable to both nations, it is agreed : 


I That the Legisla executive and Jud. 

Authority of Ireland shall be derived solely from the people 

't In-lain!. 


2. That for purposes of common concern Ireland shall 

be associated with the States of the British Commonwealth, 

, the Kingdom <1 (ireat Britain, the Dominion of 

ida, the Commonwealth of Australia, the Dominion of 

New Zealand, and the Union of South Afri< 

That when acting as an associate the rights, status, 
and privileges of Ireland shall be in no respect less than 
those enjoyed by any of the component States of the British 

4. That the matters of " common concern " shall 
include defence, peace and war, political treaties, and all 
matters now treated as of common concern amongst the 

es of the British Commonwealth, and that in these 
matters there shall be between Ireland and the States of the 
British Commonwealth such concerted action founded on 
consultation as the several Governments may determine. 
That in virtue of this association of Ireland with the States 
of the British Commonwealth, citizens of Ireland in any 
of these States shall not be subject to any disabilities which 
a citizen of one of the component States of the Briti>h 
Commonwealth would not be subject to, and reciprocally 
for citizens of these States in Ireland. 

5. That for purposes of the association Ireland shall 

his Britannic Majesty as head of the association. 


That so far as her resources permit Ireland shall 

provide for her own defence by sea, land, and air, and shall 

roe any attempt by a foreign power to violate 

the integrity of her soil and territorial waters or to use 

them for any purpose hostile to Great Britain and the other 


I . That for five yeas, pending the establishment <>f 

Irish coastal defence forces or for such other period as the 

Governments of the two countries may later agree upon. 

.1 defence of Ireland shall be given 

to the British Government as t'ollov. 

(a) In time of peace such harbour and other facil 

308 IRELAND IN 1921. 

as are indicated in the annex hereto, or such other 
facilities as may from time to time be agreed upon 
between the British Government and the Govern- 
ment of Ireland. 

(6) In time of war such harbour and other naval 
facilities as the British Government may reason- 
ably require for the purposes of such defence as 

8. That within five years from the date of exchange 
of ratifications of this Treaty a conference between the 
British and Irish Governments shall be held in order to 
hand over the coastal defence of Ireland to the Irish 
Government, unless some other arrangement for naval 
defence be agreed by both Governments to be desirable in 
the common interests of Ireland, Great Britain, and the 
other associated States. 

9. That in order to co-operate in furthering the 
principle of international limitation of armaments the 
Government of Ireland shall not 

(a) Build submarines unless by agreement with Great 
Britain and the other States of the Commonwealth. 

(b) Maintain a military defence force the establish- 
ments whereof exceed in size such proportion of 
the military establishments maintained in Great 
Britain as that which the population of Ireland 
bears to the population of Great Britain. 


10. That the Governments of Great Britain and of 
Ireland shall make a Convention for the regulation of civil 
communication by air. 

11. That the ports of Great Britain and of Ireland 
shall be freely open to the ships of each country on payment 
of the customary port and other dues. 

12. That Ireland shall assume liability for such share 
of the present public debt of Great Britain and Ireland and 
of the payment of war pensions as existing at this date, as 
may be fair and equitable, having regard to any just claims 
on the part of Ireland by way of set off or counter claim, 
the amount of such sums being determined in default of 
agreement by the arbitration of one or more independent 
persons, being citizens of Ireland or of the British Common- 

13. That the Government of Ireland agrees to pay 
compensation on terms not less favourable than those 
proposed by the British Government of Ireland Act of 1920 


hat Government's judges, officials, members of po 

M, and other public servants who are discharged by the 

crnment of Ireland, or who ret in- in consequence of 
tin- change of Government effected in pursuance her. 
provided that this agreement shall not apply to members 

he auxiliary foiv< or to persoi ated in 

Great Britain for the Royal Irish Constabulary during the 
two year ;iv,-ding the date hereof. The Bri 

Government will assume responsibility for such compensa- 
tion or pensions as may be payable to any of these excepted 

14. That neither the Parliament of Ireland nor any 
subordinate legislature in Ireland shall make any law so 
as either directly or indirectly to endow any religion or 

ilut or the free exercise thereof, or ^ 

preference or impose any disability on account of religious 

is or affect prejudicially the rights 

of any child to attend a school receiving public money 
without attending the religious instruction at the school, 
or make any discrimination as respects State aid between 
schools under the management of different relifr 
denominations, or divert from any religious denomination 
or any educational institution any of its property except 
lor public utility purposes and on payment of compensation. 

16. That by way of transitional arrangement for the 
administration of Ireland during the interval which must 
elapse between the date hereof and the setting up of a 
Parliament and Government of Ireland in accord^ 
herewith the members elected for constituencies in Ireland 

e the passing of the British Government of Ireland 
in 1920 shall at a meeting summoned for the purpose 
elect a transitional Government to which the British 
Government and Dail Kireann shall transfer the author 
powers, and machinery requisite for the discharge of it* 
duties. Provided that every member of such transitional 
Government shall have signified in writing his or her 
of this instrument. But this arrangement 
>hall not continue in force beyond the expiration of twelve 
months from the date hereof. That this instrument shall 
be >ubmitted tor ratification forthwith by his Britannic 
Majesty's Government to the Parliament at Westminster, 
and by the ('a I Dail Kireann to a meeting of the 

ubers elected for th- in Ireland set forth 

in the British Government of Ireland Act, 1920, and when 
ratifications have been exchanged shall take immediate 
effect . 

310 IRELAND IN 1921. 


The following are the specific facilities referred to in 
Article 8 : 

(a) Dockyard Port at Berehaven. British Admiralty 
property and rights to be retained as at the date 
hereof. Harbour defences to remain in charge of 
British care and maintenance parties. 

(b) Queenstown. Harbour defences to remain in 
charge of British care and maintenance parties. 
Certain mooring buoys to be retained for use of 
his Britannic Majesty's ships. 

(c) Belfast Lough. Harbour defences to remain in 
charge of British care and maintenance parties. 

(d) Lough Swilly. Harbour defences to remain in 
charge of British care and maintenance parties. 

(e) Aviation. Facilities in the neighbourhood of the 
above ports for coastal defence by air. 

(/) Oil Fuel Storage. Haulbowline, Rathmullen, 
to be offered for sale to commercial companies 
under guarantee that purchasers shall maintain a 
certain minimum stock for British Admiralty 


A convention covering a period of five years shall be 
made between the British and Irish Governments to give 
effect to the following conditions : 

(a) That submarine cables shall not be landed or 
wireless stations for communication with places 
outside Ireland be established except by agree- 
ment with the British Government. That the 
existing cable landing rights and wireless con- 
cessions shall not be withdrawn except by 
agreement with the British Government, and that 
the British Government shall be entitled to land 
additional submarine cables or establish additional 
wireless stations for communication with places 
outside Ireland. 

(b) That lighthouses, buoys, beacons, and any 
navigational marks, or navigational aids shall be 
maintained by the Government of Ireland, as at 
the date hereof, and shall not be removed or added 
to except by agreement with the British Govern- 

(c) That war signal stations shall be closed down and 
left in charge of care and maintenance parties, 


the Government of Ireland being offered the 

option ,,t taking them over and working theiu 
! purposes, s h Admir 

.on and guu rig the upkeep of e.\ 

ing telegraphic communication therewith. 



Resolved that whilst refusing to admit the righ 
any part of Ireland to be excluded from the supreme 
authority of the Parliament of Ireland, or that the relat 
A pen the Parliament of Ireland and any subordii 
legislature in Ireland can be a matter for treaty with a 
Government outside Ireland. Nevertheless, in sincere 
regard for international peace, and in order to make 
manifest our desire not to bring force or coercion to bear 
upon any substantial part of the province of Ulster, whose 
inhabitants may now be unwilling to accept the national 
authority. we are prepared to grant to that portion of 
Ulster which is defined as Northern Ireland in the British 
Government of Ireland Act of 1920 privileges and s 
guards not less substantial than those provided for in the 
articles of agreement for a Treaty between Great Britain 
and Ireland, signed London, on December 6th, 19'Jl 


Through the courtesy of the author and the publishers, 
I have been enabled to consult the proofs of Captain 
H. B. C. Pollard's Secret Societies of Ireland, in which the 
significance of the Secret Societies is described as follows: 

* The problem of the Irish Secret Societies raises a 
vital question for solution by statesmen rather than by 
politico t* there exists a powerful criminal 

organisation rooted in the United States, as well as in 
Ireland, and with ramifications all over the globe, whose 
avowed object is the establishment of an independent Iri>h 
Republic by methods of political assassination and secret 
murder, then how long will any settlement of * The Iri>h 
D ' en. lu 


Agriculture, Department of, 94. 
American opin 288. 

Andrews, Rt. Hon. John, quoted. 


Andrews, Mr., Statement on Con- 
ference. 'J43 4. 
Anti-Conscription Fund, 88. 

17, 264-5. 

' Appointed Days,' 1718. 
Ara Fheis, Supreme Council of 
K> 1; authority 
and composition, App. D. 
Arklow, arms landed at, 148. 
Anns landed, 1478. 

les of Agreement, 256261. 
Asquith, Mr., on reprisals, 3032. 
Associated Press of America, 
with de Valera, 59. 

Ban try, arms landed at, 148. 

Barbour, Mr. Milne, his state- 
:it in Belfast, 2423. 

Barton, Miss, suggestions re 
Income Tax. 

Barton, R. C., delegate to Peace 
Conference, 231 2; signs 
Treaty, 261; reason for signing, 

BELFAST, Post Office raided, 199; 

rioting, 199200; 205208; 

patrolled by I.R.A., 202; sniping 

by Sinn Feiners, 206; Lord 

Mayor calls for troops, 207; 

meeting between Northern 

:net and military and police, 

troops rc-r 207; 

statement by Lord Mayor, 

207 8; bombing by Sinn Fein, 

effect of Treaty, 278. 
Belfast Xeirsletter, The. 1 n 
lielfast Telegraph, on Treaty, 270. 
Birkenhead. Lord, replies to 
reprisals debate, 80 81 ; is dele- 
gate at Conferen signs 
his speech at Bir- 
mingham, App. G. 

Birrell, Mr., quoted, 270. 

4 Black and Tans,' description of, 

Boland, Harry, 7-8, 98. 99, 100, 

Boycott of Ulster, 12, 55, 93, 198. 

245, 272; of England, 1213, 

effect of, in Ulster, 204; Eoin 

O'Duffy's statement on, 215. 
Brady, Mr. James, petitions 

amber of Commerce, 107. 
Bruga, Cathal, letter from de 

Valera, 85; supports de Valera 

against Treaty, 263. 
Bruree, I.T. and G.W. Union 

takes possession of Cleeves 

Creamery at, 156. 
Burgess, Charles, tee Bruga, 


Camps, Sinn Fein, formed, 1456, 
229; I 1, 

Carson, Sir Edward, 17; his letter 
on reprisals, 32 3; his speech 
at Torquay. 578; and at 
Belfast, 589; his message to 
Electors, 65. 

Casement, Tom, 118 120. 

Castlecom ipt to collect 

money at, 148. 

' Castle Rule,' 264. 

Chamberlain, Mr. Austen, dele- 
gate at Conference, 232; signs 
Treaty, I 

Chart res, John, Sec. to Irish dele- 
gation, 237. 

Childers, Mr. Erskine, 85. 831, 

Church, The, and the Treaty. 
2678, 294 ; statement signed by 
Cardinal Logue, 267. 

hill, Mr., at Dundee on 
Pea lelegate to Confer- 

ence, 232; signs Treaty, 261. 

Coates, Sir William, calls for 
troops in Belfast, 207. 



Collins, Michael, elected to North- 
ern Parliament, 19, 67; his letter 
to de Valera on danger of Dail 
being raided, 92; complains 
as to conduct of Ministry of 
Labour, 93; his letter regarding 
Women's deputation to Domi- 
nion Premiers, 117; his letter 
to de V., 1201; his address to 
constituents, 213214; split in 
Dail cabinet, 222; delegate to 
Conference, 231 2; his aims at 
Conference, 235236 ; signs 
Treaty, 261; replies to de V.'s 
Manifesto, 280; credentials as 
delegate, 285 ; offer to extremists, 


Congested Districts Board, boat 
belonging to, lands arms at 
Donnemark, 148. 

Constituent Assembly Scheme, 

Cope, Mr. A. W., 1045, 121, 139, 
230, App. B. 

Cork, burned, 2930; Harbour 
Board strike at, 156, 216; Soviet 
formed at, 156, 216; loyalists 
persecuted by I.R.A., 230; 
Times correspondent kidnapped 
by I.R.A., 297. 

Cork Examiner, The, 148. 

Craig, Sir James, Member for 
Dublin University, 133. 

Craig, Sir James, elected leader, 
17; issues Manifesto, 60; his 
speeches at Banbridge and 
Bangor as to meeting de Valera, 
61; meets Lord Fitzalan at 
Dublin, 62; Conference with de 
V., 623; his statement thereon 
at Holywood, 63; his message to 
Electors, 65; addresses Ulster 
Unionist Assn., 689; letter 
from Mr. LI. G. suggesting 
Conference, 1289; his letter 
and telegram in reply, 131; 
telegram from de V., 133; and 
his reply, 134; further telegram, 
ib.; visits Downing Street, 161; 
summons his Cabinet to Lon- 
don, tb.; his message read at 
Unionist meeting in Ulster, 162; 
meets Mr. LI. G. again, tb.; 
issues Statement, 1623; de V.'s 

reply, 164; (see also LONDON 
speech on policy of silence, 201 ; 
his letter to Mr. LI. G., 2023; 
his letter to correspondent on 
deliberation with rest of Ire- 
land, 205; his statement on 
situation of Northern Parlia- 
ment, 226 228; summons his 
Cabinet to London, 241; his 
speech at special session on 
position of Ulster, 245248; his 
letter to Mr. LI. G. on official 
attitude of Ulster, 274277. 
Customs House, Dublin, attacked, 

DAIL EIREANN, How it differs 
from Southern Parliament, 20; 
issues Proclamation, 62; accepts 
responsibility for I.R.A. put- 
rages, 85; danger of meetings 
being raided, 92; suggests that 
farmers should pay no Income 
Tax, 945; scheme of com- 
munication, 96; efforts to make 
Catholic Bishops recognise 
Republic, 9698; Corres. with 
O'Mara, Boland and Miss 
MacSwiney on American Loan, 
99100; Peace negotiations, 
101 112; Constituent Assembly 
Scheme, 111112; de. V. on 
mandate from the people, 125 
CONFERENCE) ; meeting on 
Peace Proposals, 172; reply 
thereto, 174178; first full meet- 
ing, 185 188; Oath of allegiance, 
1867; Prof. MacNeill elected 
Speaker, 187; de V.'s speeches, 
1878, 1889; holds secret 
session, 190; decision on Peace 
Proposals, 191 2; holds open 
session, 192; de V. re-elected 
Pres., 192; de V.'s speech on 
unity, 1923; Mr. LI. G.'s reply 
considered in secret session, 
1935; letter to Mr. LI. G. on 
appointing plenipotentiaries, 
209210, 217218; Cabinet's 
reply, 210211, 218219; tele- 
grams between de V. and Mr. 
LI. G. on status of delegates, 
21&-221, 2234; split in Dail 
cabinet, 221222; scope of Con- 
ference, 225; list of Irish dele- 

eir status, 2312; 


r of Propaganda's 
raig, 242; 

to consider Treaty, 
ment summon- 
thths' and 
!y, 280; de 

fur: ments as to ra- 

Ireaty, 281; instru 
to (1 2823; Credentials 

of delegates, 285 ; announcement 
r private session, 2856; 
rnative to Treaty. 286; 
British undertaking to with- 
draw Crown Forces on ratifica- 
tion :y, 287; debates on 

281291; 295 f.\ 
299; Btfmbta QJ Ireland pub- 
is' offer to 

ts. 2956; de V 

appeal to the people not to 

aty, 296; de V. 

resignation, 298; 

ty ratified, 299; de V. de- 

'd on re-election vote, 300. 

Telegraph upon effect of 

land, 108; 

his iverpool, 108 


n, Mr., returned for \V. 
Belfast, 67; in connuunication 
wit 88. 

Disarmament Conference in 
Washington, 236. 

' Document No. 2,' 286, 296, App. 

\ \ 
Dominion Premiere, 114119. 

Donnemark, Thompson machine 

guns landed at, 148. 
Donoughmore, Lord, motion in 

H. -f Lords by, 80. 
Drurncorulra, troop train am- 

l.ushfd at, 86. 

E between 

J Craig and de Valera, 
62- .them 

a and Sinn Fein, 134 

Duggan, E. J., delegate t< 
fer* : signs Treaty, 

George Gavan, delegate to 

.1 '2, signs Tr 

261; recommends ratification in 
Dail, 288-9. 

Ennis, Sinn Fein collect money 


Etchingham, Mr.. denounce* 
Treaty in Dail, 287. 

ilan. Viscount. 20. 21, 62. 

raid, Mr. Desmond, 164, 

Freeman* Journal, de Valera's 
statement in, 106; on Treaty. 

u'h. Lord, retires, 20. 

George, Mr. D. Lloyd, Stat- 
as to Govt. policy. 1314; his 
letter to Bishop of Chelmsford 
reprisals,^ 43; the Bishop's 
reply, 44 6; Peace negotiations, 
101 112; his messag* 
and Queen, 127; his letter to 
de V. and Sir J. Craig suggest- 
ing Conference. 1289; calls 
ference on Gener 
rt. 141; (ure. also LONDON 

speech at Barnsley on self- 
determination, 197; is delegate 
at Pea< -nee, 232; de- 

fines Govt. attitude in H 

vote of censure again 
H. of C., 240; vote of disagree- 
ment by National Unionist 

n., 244; signs Treaty, 261. 
Glynn, Mr. Martin. Ill' 

-nment of Ireland Act, diffi- 
culties in enfonMiip, 2. .'*; 114. 
Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, 

manifesto ny, on Treaty, . 
Green woo< mar, his reply 

on reprisals, 79; is delegate at 
.ference, 232; signs Treaty, 

Griffith. Arthur. 1" 
222; is delee onference. 

2312; his aims at Conf.. 235; 
sipnB Treaty, 261; his let: 

LI. G. on 268; 

replies to de V.'s manifesto, 
Guinness, Colonel, speaks in H. 

of C. on reprisals, 78. 
(hm-running, 148. 



Hampshire Regiment, in mine 
explosion at Youghal, 79. 

Hewart, Sir Gordon, is member 
of Conference on Constitutional 
questions, 232 ; signs Treaty, 261. 

Incendiarism in England, 13, 

Income Tax, 945. 

Independent, The, 2167, 267. 

Intelligence Service, established, 

Internment Camps, letters to and 
from, 152153; 1545. 

Internment, Policy of, 5, 6. 

Irish Bulletin, The, 23, 137, 1712, 
190, App. A. 

Irish Dominion League, 110. 

attacks L. & N.W. Rly. Hotel, 
Dublin, 212; attacks Customs 
House, Dublin, 223; Irish 
Bulletin statement, 23; incen- 
diarism in England, 13, 2327; 
attacks on Protestants and con- 
stables, 5456; forms Flying 
Column, 567; its campaign of 
outrage, 75; attacks on R.I.C., 
79; explodes mine at Youghal, 
tb.; mines train containing 
King's escort, 80; responsibility 
for its outrages taken by Dail, 
85; reports to de V. on train 
ambush, 867; Truce, 139142; 
disregards truce, 145157, 252; 
Military training, 146; An 
T'Oglac quoted, 147; terrorism 
in Ulster, 198200; patrols 
Belfast, 202, 208; persecutes 
Cork Loyalists, 230; distributes 
Circular in Co. Mayo, 250252; 
divisions on the Treaty, 265; 
Mr. Mulcahy, Chief of Staff, 
recommends Treaty, 290; majo- 
rity of Leaders for Treaty, 291; 
Times Correspondent kid- 
napped, 297. 

Irish Self-Determination League, 
118, 120; on the Treaty, 265-6. 

Irish Times, The, on the Treaty, 

Irish Transport and General 
Workers' Union, strike by, 156, 
216; takes possession of Cleeves 
Creamery, 156; Voice of Labour 
on Treaty, 269. 

Kay, Mr., kidnapped, 297. 
Kilnaleck, compelled to supply 

money and provisions, 148. 
King, H.M. the, consents to open 

Northern Parliament, 6970; 

72; extracts from speech, 73; 

message from the Pope and his 

reply, 238. 

Labour, Northern Ministry of, 
statement on Conference by, 

Liscannor Bay, arms landed at, 

Lloyd George, Mr. (se George, 
Mr. D. Lloyd). 

Logue, Cardinal, 1123; state- 
ment by, 267. 

L. & N.W. Rly. Hotel, Dublin, 
attacked, 212. 

ENCE, Prime Minister suggests 
Conference to de Valera and 
Sir J. Craig, 1289; Sir J. 
Craig's reply, 131; de V.'s, 132 
3; de V.'s letter to Southern 
Unionists and telegram to Sir 
J. Craig, 133; Sir J. Craig's 
reply, 134; de V.'s further tele- 

fram to Sir J. Craig, 134; de 
. consents to Conference, 139; 
negotiations between de V. and 
Mr. LI. G. for ' Preliminary ' 
Conference, 158160; first meet- 
ing between de V. and Mr. LI. 
G. and official communique], 160; 
second meeting, 161; Sir J. 
Craig visits Downing Street, 
161; second visit, 162; his state- 
ment, 1623; reply by de V.'s 
staff, 164; British Cabinet meets, 
165; Proposals for Settlement, 
165169; de V. returns to Ire- 
land, 169; Irish Bulletin on 
Peace Proposals, 1712; de V.'s 
reply, 174178; Mr. LI. G.'s 
letter to de V., 178180; General 
Smuts' letter to de V., 180184; 
decision of Dail, 1912; extracts 
from Mr. LI. G.'s reply, 193 
195; letter from Sir J. Craig to 
Mr. LI. G., 2023; Dail's letter 
to Mr. LI. G. on appointing 
plenipotentiaries, 209210, 217 
218; Cabinet's reply to Dail, 
210211, 218219; the Indepen- 
dent on, 216 7; telegrams 


de V. and Mr. LI. G. 

on .--.VMS of delegates, 218821. 
scope ol 

ilelegateft an<i 

gates. 232; aims of Irish 

to deal v 

237 g; message ' Pope 

to t 

and de V. s telegram t 

.-iiKur.- in 

1 1 delegates 

request transference of Tyrone 
inanagh. 240, L 

-ir .1. 

Mi'' .;r in R,-lfa.-- 

3; sta ( ' 'Irews 

(Northern M 

243 *; v ABsn. 

vote of 
pool, 24-1 

in Northern Parl. on position 
rister, 245248; press cam- 
paign against Ulster, 246; 
imj limit on 

delegates, 2489; hostile 
lar in Co. Mayo, 250252; 
agreement reached, 255; copy of 
ma sent to Sir .1 CraiLT. 255. 

Treaty in Dail, 2878. 

McCa , 9899, 288. 

Mi-K- British Govt. 

refuse to release, 173; released, 
174; on preparing for war, 252. 

1 Speaker 

Mac ready, 

MacSwiney. Miss M , 100; de- 
nounces Treaty in Dail, 289 

Mark imtess, 296. 

under, 6; 
working of, 77 
Midi* Earl of, 133, 134. 

Milroy, Sean, supports Treat v in 

Dail, 288. 

Morning Post, The. 144. 
Moylan, Sean, 147 

Mulcahy. Mr, recommends rati- 
on of Treaty, 290. 

National Unionist Assn., vote of 
disagreement at Liverpool. 1M4. 

Ne*r lists shot at, 199. 


summoned, i n of 

manifesto, 60; polling day, 66; 
results of election, 678; formal 
opening, 68. 69; the King con- 

i, 69 70, 72; repre- 
sentation in tl.- 71. 
extracts from the King's speech, 

Craig's speech on 
<y of silence, 201; observa- 
tions on Govt. offer to de V., 
202 203; i 

cabinet and military and i 
upon reinforcing troops in 
Belfast, 207; scope of Peace 
Conference, 225; position of 
Ulster, 225- ;irliament 

meets, 226; boycotted by 
Fein and Nat ion. i hers, 

it l>y Sir J. Craig 
on the sit nation, "226 228; 
delegates request transf. 
of Tyrone and Fermanagh, 240, 
271 .rnons 


in Council on Appointed Days, 
242; statement by Mr. Milne 
Barbour in Belfast, 2423; 
statement by Mr. Andrews, 
243 I; on bombing in Belfast, 
245; Craig's speech at 

special session on position of 
Ulster in regard to Conference, 
245248; press campaign against 
Ulster, 246; copy of peace terms 
sent to raig, 25;'> 

sees Mr. 1.1. <i., 273; 
his statement in Farliar: 

official attitude of Ulster, 274 

O'Brien, Art, 118120; on the 

Treaty, 2656. 
O'Duffy, Mr. Eoin, 200, 202, 808, 

296; attacks Unionists 

Mr., 92. 

i'atrick, quoted, 1467. 
O'Mara, James, 99100. 



O'Shannon, Cathal, quoted, 166, 

Outrage statistics, 7. 

Paxson, Prof., quoted, 123 4. 

Plunkett, Count, his Dignified 
Statement, 48. 

Plunkett, Sir Horace, 110. 

Pollard, H. B. C., App. D.; 
quoted, App. I. 

Pope, letter to Card. Logue, 113; 
his message to the King and the 
King's reply, 238 ; telegram from 
de V., 2389. 

Proposals by H.M. Government 
for Irish Settlement, Corre- 
spondence and Further Corre- 
spondence relating to, App. C. 

Proposals for settlement of Irish 
question, by British Govt., 165 
169; Irish Bulletin on, 1712. 

Publicity, Director of (Bail 
Eireann), 889, 90, 91, 164; 
App. A. 

Reprisals, Policy of, 47; burn- 
ing of Cork, 29 n30; Mr. Asquith 
on, 3032; letter from Lord 
Carson on, 323; letter from 
Mr. LI. G. to Bp. of Chelms- 
ford, 3343; the Bishop's reply, 
445; Count Plunkett's state- 
ment, 48; reprisals by Ulster 
Special Constables, 51 3. 

Republic of Ireland. The, quoted, 

LARY, telegram to Prime 
Minister on Treaty, 270; is dis- 
banded, ib.; description of, 
App. F. 

Secret Societies of Ireland, App. 
D. and I. 

Seely, General, opens reprisals 
debate in H. of C., 756. 

Skeffington, Mrs., 117. 

SINN FEIN, rioting in Belfast 
by, 701; attacks Belfast water 
supply, 71; refuses to allow 
elections, 74; outrages in Eng- 
land, 7980; alliance with 
Nationalists, 88, 90 ; instructions 
in view of raids on offices, 91 
2; effort to make Catholic 
Bishops recognise Republic, 
9698; correspondence with 

O'Mara, Boland and Miss 
MacSwiney on American loan, 
99 100 ; Peace negotiations, 
101112; draft letter to Domi- 
nion Premiers, 115116; Corres. 
between de Valera and O'Brien, 
118120; internal differences, 
122; majority prefer Dominion 
status, 125; Mr. LI. G. suggests 
Conference, 1289; police sur- 
veillance ceases, 132; de V.'s 
telegram re Conference, 1323; 
his letter to Southern Unionists 
and telegram to Sir J. Craig, 
133; Dublin Conference, 134 
138; communique on Confer- 
ence, 138; de V. consents to 
London Conference, 139, 158; 
terms of truce, 139, 140; General 
Smuts in Dublin, 141; activity 
during Truce, 145157; camps 
formed, 1456; Courts insti- 
tuted, 149; attacks on police 
and soldiers, 150 151; extracts 
from letters to and from intern- 
ment camps, 152153, 154155; 
London Conference negotia- 
tions, 158160 (see also LON- 
prisoners released, 172 4; oath 
of allegiance to Dail, 1867; 
terrorism in Ulster, 198200; 
sniping at Protestant workmen 
in Belfast, 206; meeting of Ard 
Fheis, 233, 24O 1; bombing in 
Belfast, 245; Republican circu- 
lar distributed in Co. Mayo, 
250252; split in ranks, 280; 
constitution, App. D. 

Smuts, General, 114, 115, 118, 119, 
141, 142, App. B. ; letter to de V. 
on peace proposals, 180184. 

summoned, 19; nomination of 
candidates and results of elec- 
tions, ib., 20; how it differs 
from the Dail, 20; Sinn Fein 
refuse to allow elections, 74; 
summoned, 82; Lord Chief 
Justice's address, 82. 

Soviet formed at Cork, 156, 216. 

Stack, Austin, memo, to de V., 
87; supports de V. against 
Treaty, 263. 

Strickland, General, 29. 



Transport and 

Sturdy. Special Constable, mur- 
dered. 70. 71 

Talbot. Lord Edmund, tec Fitz- 
alan, Viscount. 

Thompson sub-machine guns. 147. 
Times, The, correspondent, kid- 

TREA1Y. IHK >" oJo LON- 


to be called 

266; Dominion status. b. ; 

i sral, i - , 261; 

.,-7. public Debt and 

I by arbitration, 257, 

after 5 years, \b. ; harbour 

HI] defence force, 
orts, 268; 

Cation to officials (R.I.C. 

S, 262; powers not 

:i Northern Ireland 

for one month, 258, 262; address 

:i Parliament on 

J;>8 9. 

to determine boundaries, 
259, 271 , power to elect mem- 
bers of Council of Ireland, t&.; 
Northern and Southern (iovts. 
meet to discuss Provisions, 
LV,u. Trillions status, 260; 
visional Govt. in S. Ireland, 
Treaty to be submitted to 

' for approval, 2601, 

t of signatories, 261; 
de V.'s stat 

-4; An , 2646; 

sident of Irish & 
League on Treaty, 2656; effect 
of Treaty on the Irish p 
irch and the Tr 

86; Sir .i 
Mr. LI 
in N 

r to Mr 

of Ulster, 274 
Manifesto by Grand Or 
T.odge of IrelanH 
ment to Treaty defeated in H 

of C , 279; similar amendment 

defeated , &.;de V/s 

manifesto summoning his 

280; Griffiths' and 

:y. 280; de V.'s 

her statements as to ratifi- 

n of Treaty. 281; in* 

* to delegates, Mfc-S; 

tls of delegates, 186; 

Mr. LI. (i undertakes to 

withdraw Crown Forces on 

fication of Treaty. 287; his 

ultimatum to delegates, 287, 

ates in Dail on Treaty. 

291; Mr. LI. G.'s statement 

on advantages of Treaty. 2912. 

interned persons to be rejoined, 

average citizen's view of 

Treaty, 2946; de V.'s appeal to 

;>le not to support Treaty, 

iders his resign- 

ity ratified. 299; de V. 

uted on re-election vote, 

300; Annex to Treaty, App. E. 

TRUCK. THK. BB-lttj disre- 

led by Sinn Fein, 14f> 
10& 200; Committee appointed, 
8; disregarded by I.R.A.. 

i ER, Trade boycott of. 12. 55, 
90, 198; prepares to carry out 
Govt. of Ireland Act, 1415; 
its boundaries defined, 15; 
Standing Committee inaeil. 
1617; Sir J. Craig elected 
Lead-' 17; suggests Royal 
opening of Par 
special constables raised and 
their reprisals, 61 3; Sir E 
Carson's speech at Torquay. 
673; and at Belfast, 689; 
terrorism nn Fein and 

I.R.A. during truce, 198200; 
special constables disarmed, 
ing in Belfast, 199200, 
206208; by 

iers, 206; call for troops in 
Belfast, 207; troops reinforced, 
207; scope of Pea 
225; positio: 226 

Irish delegates request 
transference of Tyrone and 


campaign at ster, 246; 

effect of 1 
270278; effect of boycott, >72. 



Unity, Bail statement on, 86; 
de V.'s speech on, 1923. 

VALERA, DE, lands in Ireland, 
7; letter to Boland, 78; effect 
of his presence in Ireland, 
810; his message to farmers, 
10 11; elected to Parliament, 
19; his interview with Ass. 
Press of America, 59; Confer- 
ence with Sir J. Craig, 623; 
his message to electors of 
Northern Parliament, 65; orders 
not to arrest, 83 4; arrested 
and released, 84; his letter on 
position of I.R.A. to Cathal 
Bruga, 85; his draft for Cabinet 
statement, 86; memo, from Mr. 
Austin Stack and de V/s note 
thereto, 878; alliance with 
Nationalists, 88, 90; his letters 
to Dir. of Publicity, 889, 90, 
91; instructions in view of raids 
on offices, 91 2; complaints as 
to conduct of Min. of Labour, 
93; his letter t9 Boland, 113; 
negotiations with Dominion 
Premiers, 114120; letter from 
Collins, 1201; statement on 
mandate from the people, 125 
6; letter from Mr. LI. G. sug- 
gesting Conference, 128 9; his 
telegram in reply, 132 3; his 
letter to Southern Unionists 
and telegram to Sir J. Craig, 
133; further telegram to Sir J. 
Craig, 134; Dublin Conference, 
134138; de V. consents to 
London Conference negotiations, 

158160; (see also LONDON 
return to Ireland, 169; his state- 
ment, 170; calls Dail meeting 
on Peace proposals, 172; reply 
thereto, 174178; Mr. LI. G.'s 
letter to, 178180; General 
Smuts' letter to, 180184; his 
speeches in Dail, 1878, 1889; 
decision of DaU sent to Mr. 
LI. G., 1912; re-elected Presi- 
dent of Dail, 192; his speech on 
unity, 192 3; protest from 
Dublin Castle on breaking of 
truce in Ulster, 200; his state- 
ment on Peace, 214215; his 
telegram to the Pope, 2389; 
his speech at Ennis, 249250; 
appeals to the people not to 
support Treaty, 296; tenders his 
resignation, 298; defeated on 
re-election vote, 300. 

Voice of Labour, on the Treaty, 

Weekly Summary, The, 142. 

Wexford, Co., levy on residents, 

' White Cross/ The, 8. 

Winterton, Lord, on reprisals, 78. 

Workers' Republic on Treaty, 269. 

Women's International League, 

Worthington-Evans, Sir L., dele- 
gate to Conference, 232; signs 
Treaty, 261. 

Youghal, mine exploded at, 79. 

DA Street, Cecil John Charles 

Ireland in 1921